Arizona Labor Laws Guide
Ultimate Arizona labor law guide: minimum wage, overtime, break, leave, hiring, termination, and miscellaneous labor laws.
|Arizona Labor Laws FAQ|
|Arizona minimum wages||$12.80 per hour|
|Arizona overtime laws||1.5 times the regular wage for any time worked over 40 hours/week
($19.20 for minimum wage workers)
|Arizona break laws||Breaks not required by law|
Table of contents
Arizona minimum wage
On January 1st every calendar year, the minimum wage rises, due to the increase in the cost of living. Currently, Arizona’s minimum wage is $12.80 per hour.
Arizona’s Under 20 Minimum Wage for employees under 20 years old is $4.25 per hour for the first 90 days of employment.
Arizona’s minimum hourly wage for full-time students is $10.88, which is 85% of the regular minimum wage.
|ARIZONA MINIMUM WAGE|
|Regular minimum wage||Tipped minimum wage||Subminimum/Training wage|
Tipped minimum wage in Arizona
For workers in industries that have tipping, the employer is allowed to pay their employees up to $3 less per hour than minimum wage ($9.80). This applies only if the wage earned along with tips amounts to the same sum as if they were paid a regular minimum wage.
Additionally, according to Arizona state law concerning equal wage rates, variations in pay for the same position based on gender are prohibited. Both male and female workers should be paid an equal amount for the same position, so long as the quality and quantity of work are the same.
Exceptions to the minimum wage in Arizona
Employees in the following sectors are not required to be paid the minimum wage:
- Domestic employees (babysitters)
- Employees working for family members
- Employees of Arizona or federal government
- Employers whose businesses earn under $500,000 per year, if their business isn’t covered by the FLSA
Arizona payment laws
Per the Arizona Office of Labor Law, employers are required to pay wages to their employees on set days, at least twice per month, no more than 16 days apart.
The payouts should happen within 7 days from the closing of the pay period during which the wages were earned. And if the payday falls on a non-working day, the payment must be made on the workday before it.
Arizona labor hours
In Arizona, a workweek is defined as any seven consecutive days.
By law, part-time employees are considered those who work no more than 30 hours within a workweek, or less than 130 hours within a month.
Full-time employees work 40 hours within a workweek. However, according to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), full-time employment can be anything over 30 hours a week.
So, it is important to check with your employer what they consider to be full-time hours, before going over your pay and benefits.
Which hours worked are compensated in Arizona?
Aside from doing their regular work on the daily, employees should also be compensated for their time in specific instances.
Arizona labor and minimum wage laws state that employers should compensate for:
- Waiting time — labor where employees are actively on duty, even if they aren’t currently doing any tasks.
- On-call time — labor where employees are waiting to be called by their employer, if they cannot use that time for their own purposes.
The same laws also state that employers don’t need to compensate for:
- Travel time (but it could be regulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act).
- Meetings, training, or lecture time.
- A full workday if an employee is dismissed before their clock-out time. They are to be paid only for the hours worked.
Arizona overtime laws
Overtime in Arizona is regulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act. According to FLSA, anything over 40 weekly hours worked is considered overtime.
Unlike some states who also specify overtime with daily work hours (anything over 8 hours per workday is considered overtime), Arizona doesn’t have any such regulation.
When it comes to overtime rates, employees paid hourly are entitled to 1.5 times their hourly wage when they enter overtime.
According to FLSA, salaried employees earning over $455 per week are exempt from overtime pay. However, in Arizona, the state law claims that salaried employees are not exempt from overtime pay, but their salary requirements are higher. Since the hourly wage is $12.80 per hour, and the salaried employee worked 65 hours, their weekly salary would have to be $812.05 to exempt them from overtime.
Arizona break laws
How breaks are regulated across the United States will vary from state to state.
Arizona has no state or federal law that regulates work breaks, so a lot of the rules are determined by the companies themselves.
Arizona work breaks (meals and rest)
The number of breaks and their length is dependent wholly on the employer, meaning the rules vary from one company to another.
However, the US Department of Labor does have one guideline: employers must pay for all breaks under 20 minutes, while any and all breaks exceeding 30 minutes are unpaid — if the employee is allowed to do what they will with that time. If they need to remain at their job post, then the break has to be paid.
Arizona breastfeeding laws
The state of Arizona doesn’t regulate breaks for breastfeeding mothers in the workplace specifically.
That means that the federal laws apply, so mothers are still protected by the FLSA if they are a non-exempt (hourly) employee.
The federal law states that working mothers who are still lactating and breastfeeding must be allowed a reasonable break period to do so, for up to one year after the birth of the child.
Other than that, employers have to provide a private, enclosed space for this activity. Said space can’t be a bathroom.
Arizona leave requirements
With regards to required and non-required leave, Arizona has no specific regulations — which allows employers to set their own terms and benefits.
Meaning, each company/occupation will have its own rules, so we would advise employees to inform themselves during the application process.
Arizona required leave
Let’s take a look at all the possibilities concerning required leave in Arizona:
- Sick and family leave
- Jury duty leave
- Voting time leave
- Domestic violence or sexual assault leave
- Organ and bone donation leave
- Military leave
Sick and family leave
In Arizona, employers have been mandated to provide paid sick leave since 2016. It can be used in any illness-related case,, be it the employee themselves or their close family members. Some other situations that fall under paid sick leave include:
- Caring for a family member with an illness (mental or physical), or a condition,
- Recovery time for injuries,
- Psychological counseling,
- Relocation, legal procedures, and recovery due to domestic violence, etc.
The law states that employees can earn paid sick leave, also known as sick leave accrual. The way sick leave hours are accumulated is based on two things:
- If the business has more than 15 employees. Employees earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, earning up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year.
- If the business has fewer than 15 employees. Employees earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, earning up to 24 hours of paid sick leave per year.
Jury duty leave
An employer is not required to pay for an employee’s leave for jury duty summons.
At the same time, they are not allowed to penalize or otherwise punish the employee for that time off.
Lastly, if the employee works in a company with 5 or fewer full-time employees, the court will postpone their jury duty service if another employee in the same company is already serving jury duty.
Voting time leave
An employer is required to give employees paid leave for voting, but employees need to make a request before the election day.
All employees should get 3 consecutive hours to vote between the opening and closing hours of the polls.
Voting paid leave can be flexibly used — for example, if the polls close at 7 p.m. and the employee works until 5 p.m, the employer can offer them 1 hour of paid leave, so they can get off work at 4 p.m.
Domestic violence or sexual assault leave
An employer with 50 or more employees is obligated to provide unpaid leave to employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
The leave is required in cases where:
- The employee needs to be present at criminal proceedings (sentencing, probation, initial court appearances, etc).
- The employee wants to obtain an order of protection against harassment.
The state of Arizona, however, does not provide paid or unpaid leave for victimized employees to recover from physical or mental injuries. Only for legal proceedings.
In this case, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can trump an employer’s decision, as their regulation gives job-protected time off for a greater number of various injuries.
Organ and bone donation leave
For state employees, employers are required to provide 5 days of paid leave for bone marrow donation, with verified documentation that the employee is a donor.
For organ donations, employers are required to provide 30 days of paid leave, with verified documentation that the employee is a donor.
According to the State of Arizona’s military leave law, an employer is required to approve military leave both in the public and private sector, for members of the National Guard and Military Reserve Components.
Like all other states in the US, Arizona acknowledges the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), where employers are required to allow employees to return to their jobs after military service, without loss of vacation days, seniority, or potential promotions.
Arizona non-required leave
Let’s take a look at all the possibilities concerning non-required leave in Arizona. This includes:
- Holiday leave
- Vacation leave
- Bereavement leave
Arizona law has no regulations concerning paid or unpaid holiday leave. Furthermore, a private company can ask employees to work holidays without premium pay (i.e. a higher rate for working during the holidays). The only exceptions are employments that fall under FLSA and are eligible for overtime pay in these cases.
On the other hand, all public offices need to be closed on legal holidays recognized by the state of Arizona.
Note: In the case of private employers, paid or unpaid holiday leave can be contractually negotiated during the hiring process.
In regards to paid vacation leave in Arizona, state law says that employers aren’t obligated to provide paid leave.
Should an employer choose to offer such benefits, they should be in line with the established policies of the company. Furthermore:
- Employers can introduce a policy that denies payment for vacation leave when an employee leaves the company or is terminated.
- Employers can introduce a policy that disqualifies employees from using paid leave if they fail to comply with certain company requirements (giving a two-week notice, for example).
- Employers providing paid vacation leave are also allowed to include a policy stating that employees need to spend their paid leave days by a set date (to prevent greater accrual).
- Unless the company has a policy specifying payouts of vacation leave upon termination, employers are in no way legally obligated to provide them.
Bereavement leave is taken by an employee due to a death in the family or a close relative.
The State of Arizona doesn’t offer paid or unpaid leave for these situations, but employers may decide to provide such a benefit. In case they do, the conditions must comply with an existing company policy.
Arizona child labor laws
Unlike some states in the US, Arizona no longer requires special forms for employment of youths under 18, nor written parental agreement. However, the employer needs to ask for proof of the person’s age (any legal document).
When it comes to the employment of minors in Arizona, the rules are as follows:p>
- No child aged 13 or under is allowed to work.
- Minors aged 14 and 15 are allowed to work a very limited number of hours.
- Minors aged 16 and 17 are allowed to work, but not in hazardous jobs.
- During the school year, no minor under 16 years of age can work longer than 3 hours a day when school is in session, and 8 hours on non-school days.
- No minor under 16 years of age can work before 6 a.m. and after 9.30 p.m. on school days. On non-school days, they can work until 11 p.m.
- When school is out (or if the minor is not enrolled in any school), no minor under 16 years of age can work before 6 a.m. and after 11 p.m. on school days. They can work 8 hours a day to a total of 40 hours a week.
With these being the general guidelines, let’s take a look at specific limitations surrounding youth employment.
Prohibited employment for children under 18
Any person younger than 18 should not work in, around, or in connection with:
- Any explosive production or storage, except retail (if there is no explosives handling required)
- Motor vehicle driving, unless the minor has a valid driving or operating license, and:
- They drive no more than 2 hours per day (or 25% of work per day)
- They drive less than 50 miles per day
- Mining, logging
- Occupations requiring them to be around or work with power-driven woodworking machines
- Occupations with exposure to radioactive substances
- Occupations requiring meatpacking, processing, slaughtering, or handling meat-processing machinery
- Occupations with power-driven machines, including:
- Bakery machines
- Paper product machines
- Metalworking, punishing, or shearing machines
- Occupations that involve power-driven machine excavation or tunneling operations; manual excavation and trench work is allowed, so long as the surface doesn’t exceed 2 ft of depth
Prohibited employment for children under 16
Any person younger than 16 should not work in, around, or in connection with:
- Public messenger service
- Occupations involving work from scaffoldings, roofs, windowsills, etc.
- Dry cleaning
- Certain activities in food retail:
- Maintenance or repair of machines
- Cooking, banking, with exceptions to counters, snack bars, and soda fountains
- Maintenance or repair of power-driven slicers, grinders, cutters, etc.
- Certain activities in agriculture:
- Operating a tractor that has no protective gear or seatbelts
- Operating corn and cotton pickers, combines, etc.
- Working in bull, boar, or stud horse pens
- Handling dangerous agricultural chemicals
Arizona child labor law exemptions
Child labor laws allow for exemptions in very specific cases:
- Minors employed by family members or relatives, so long as the minor is not 15 or under, and doing work in mining or manufacturing.
- Minors working as performers or entertainers (TV, radio, online, etc), so long as the agency employing them provides all the vital information on hours worked and wage.
- Minors with a high school diploma or an equivalent.
- Minors working an apprenticeship or enrolled in a career education program approved by the Department of Education.
Arizona hiring laws
When it comes to the hiring process, the Arizona Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, disability, and so on during the hiring process. Other regulations for the hiring process include:
- Prohibiting employers from in-depth inquiries about a candidate's health-related issue or disability. They are allowed to only inquire about the candidate’s ability to perform the work in the conditions the job provides.
- Prohibiting employers to make mutual agreements with other employers that prevent candidates from getting employed at other companies (aka “blacklisting”).
- Prohibiting employers from not hiring or terminating contracts if the candidate is a registered medical marijuana cardholder.
- Prohibiting employers from making credit checks without a candidate’s written permission.
- Prohibiting the employer to perform drug testing if the testing isn’t necessary for the job in question.
- Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWL) prohibits employers from hiring undocumented candidates.
It’s important to remember that in cases where Arizona State law and Federal law overlap, the employer should comply with the law that bears greater benefits to the employee.
Arizona termination laws
Arizona is a state following employment-at-will.
This means that employees with no written contract can be terminated for any reason at any moment.
The only caveat is that the termination cannot be considered legal if it’s due to discrimination or retaliation against an employee.
Arizona workplace discrimination laws
Arizona follows a strict regulation prohibiting employment and termination discrimination on multiple grounds.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission prohibits discrimination based on:
- Biological sex
- Race and national origin
- Age (applies to individuals between 40 and 70 years of age)
- Pregnancy, child, or spousal support withholding
- Sexual orientation
- Gender and gender identity
- AIDS/HIV status
- Disability (mental, physical), etc.
Giving bonuses, merits, or deducting wages based on any of these criteria is punishable as well.
Arizona miscellaneous laws
In this final section, we will go through some of the additional labor laws that are of public interest.
- Right-to-work laws
- Whistleblower protection laws
- Background check laws
- Employer use of social media regulations
- Employee monitoring law
- Drug and alcohol testing laws
- Sexual harassment training laws
- COBRA laws
- Expense reimbursement laws
- Record-keeping laws
Arizona right-to-work laws
Arizona is a right-to-work state, which states that if your company decides to unionize, an employer cannot fire you should you refuse to join.
Likewise, an employer cannot use a union membership as leverage for accepting or refusing a job applicant.
Lastly, right-to-work protects employees from being fired if they wish to resign from a union.
Whistleblower protection laws
Arizona Whistleblower law differentiates between whistleblowers in the public and the private sector. For the public sector, an employer is not allowed to fire, threaten or discriminate against an employee if they report:
- Any unlawful practice within the company,
- Mismanagement of state funds, and
- Abuse of authority.
For the private sector, an employee is protected by the state only when reporting violations of the Arizona statute or the Arizona Constitution.
Background check laws
Arizona is among 35 US states that follow the Ban the Box legislation. According to this law, an employer is not allowed to ask about, or look into an applicant's criminal history before offering them the job.
In Arizona, only felony convictions from the last 7 years and misdemeanor convictions from the last 5 years can have their application rejected by the employer. Any older felony or conviction cannot be counted while considering an application.
Ban the Box is mandatory only for the public sector, and there are no set guidelines for private businesses. And to perform any sort of background check, the easiest route is through the central repository of the Arizona Department of Public Safety. However, only statute-authorized businesses can use this service to ask for criminal history information. This leaves most employers with basic tools, like online searches, public court records, former employers, etc.
Employee monitoring law
Arizona is a one-party consent state, which means that, in order to record a conversation (digitally, or through a phone), you need the consent of at least one person in the group you wish to record.
Video recording, such as CCTV, does not require consent from the employees. However, the cameras should only be in public locations, and not in those that employees use for privacy reasons, such as:
- Shower areas
- Locker rooms/Changing rooms
Additionally, employers need to formulate a video surveillance policy they will present to their employees beforehand.
Drug and alcohol testing laws
The State of Arizona gives employers full freedom to conduct drug and alcohol testing at their discretion, so long as they have a policy detailing who can be tested, when, and why. More importantly, all employees must be informed of the policy and any subsequent changes.
A few notable conditions include:
- Allowing employers to conduct random drug testing.
- Any bodily sample can be used for testing — breath, hair, blood, urine, and saliva.
- Allowing employers to test for marijuana, although they have no grounds to fire or refuse to hire any employee who shows positive results, as recreational marijuana is legal in Arizona. However, they can discipline an employee whose work has been impaired by the influence of marijuana consumption (speech, disrupted coordination, negligence, etc.)
- Employees using medical marijuana are protected by the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA).
- Employers must use either the Arizona Department of Health laboratories or those certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration.
Sexual harassment training laws
The State of Arizona has no sexual harassment training requirements.
Arizona follows the Federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), but also has its own regulation called the “mini-COBRA”.
Since COBRA applies only to companies with 20 or more employees, small businesses are left without a regulation of their own.
Mini-COBRA provides this aid to business owners with under 20 employees.
Through it, former employees can continue to use health coverage through their former employer for 18 months after termination, and after that, an additional 11 months in case of a disability.
Expense reimbursement laws
Reimbursement for travel expenses in the State of Arizona applies only to public employees and officers, public institution employees, board members, or any other agency of the state.
The law covers reimbursement of travel by air, motor vehicles or railroads, meal and lodging expenses, so long as the claims are submitted via appropriate forms.
Arizona record-keeping laws
When it comes to record-keeping, Arizona follows the guidelines laid out by the FLSA.
Records kept for 1 year
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers are obligated to keep all records relating to employment for at least 1 year from the date of termination. Employers should also keep copies of every employee’s I-9 form for at least one year.
The paperwork includes:
- Employee’s full name,
- Their social security number,
- Date hired, rehired, or returned to work,
- Date employment ended and the reason(s) for separation from work,
- Amount of remuneration paid in each calendar quarter,
- Amount of remuneration paid each pay period, including the value of any remuneration in a form other than cash,
- Amount and date of any special payment, such as a bonus, gift, or prize, and
- Place in which services were performed.
Records kept for 2 years
Any documents relating to basic employment and earning, such as wages, timecards/timesheets, billing records, and any bonuses or deductions from pay.
Records kept for 3 years
Any documents concerning payroll records, agreements, bargaining agreements, sales, and purchase records.
Records kept for over 4 years
- Records of job-related injuries are kept for 5 years.
- Records of annual reports for benefit plans are kept for 6 years.
- Records of toxic substance exposure are kept for 30 years.
While some of these timeframes may sound strange, the reason behind record-keeping for so long is simple.
Employers may need these documents when filing claims or sending records to the IRS.
We hope this Arizona labor law guide has been helpful. We once again remind you to make sure you’ve paid attention to the links we’ve provided, as most of them will lead you to the official websites and other relevant information.
Please note the article was written in Q1 2022, so any changes in the rule of law that happen later than that may not be included in this Arizona labor law guide.
We strongly advise you to consult with the appropriate institutions and/or certified representatives before acting on any legal matters.
Clockify is not responsible for any losses or risks incurred, should this guide be used without further guidance from legal or tax advisors.