Arkansas Labor Laws Guide

Ultimate Arkansas labor laws guide: minimum wage, overtime, break, leave, hiring, termination, and miscellaneous labor laws.

Arkansas Labor Laws FAQ
Arkansas minimum wage $11
Arkansas tipped minimum wage $2.63
Arkansas overtime 1.5 times the minimum wage for any time worked over 40 hours/week
($16.5 for minimum wage workers)
Arkansas breaks Breaks not required by law
Arkansas Labor Laws Guide

Table of contents

Arkansas wage laws

Here, we have a brief overview of laws pertaining to the minimum wage, tipped minimum wage, and subminimum wage in Arkansas.

Regular minimum wage Tipped minimum wage Subminimum wage
$11 per hour $2.63 per hour $9.35 per hour

Minimum wage Arkansas

Passed by the voters in November 2018, the current minimum wage in Arkansas is $11. This requirement applies to employers with four or more employees.

Employers with fewer than four employees need to pay their workers at a rate not lower than the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour.

Non-standard deductions that would bring the employee below minimum wage are not allowed.

These deductions include:

However, some deductions to the minimum wage can be made following court orders — but, also, if there are any wage assignments to a third party, or if cost needs to be covered for board, lodging, apparel, or similar expenses.

Other than deductions, there are also specific cases in which the minimum wage can be lower. In the state of Arkansas, these cases include those when workers are paid a tipped minimum wage, and those where student rates apply.

Tipped minimum wage in Arkansas

For employees working in establishments that include tipping, tipped minimum wage is $2.63 per hour.

In this case, the tips workers earn must bring them up to at least a minimum wage.

If not — the employers need to cover the difference.

This means that it is the employer's responsibility to keep accurate track of the tips employees receive.

Subminimum wage in Arkansas (Student rates)

Students enrolled full-time in any accredited educational institution in Arkansas are to be paid no less than 85% of the minimum wage.

Additionally, these students cannot work more than 20 hours per week while school is in session, and more than 40 hours on weeks it is not.

As for student-learners and apprentices, the same sub-minimum wage requirement applies.

However, the employer must acquire valid certification from the US Department of Labor, which would affirm their status as being accredited to hire students.

Arkansas payment laws

Arkansas employers are required to pay most of their hourly employees on a regular payday and with regular frequency — at minimum biweekly.

Arkansas overtime laws

In accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, Arkansas employee rights include a right to overtime work being paid at a rate not lower than 1.5 times the regular pay rate.

In most cases, overtime must be paid for any additional hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek.

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There are exemptions to this rule, which can apply to:

These categories of employees are not strictly entitled to federally prescribed overtime rates, and they have to negotiate these rates with their employer.

The federally administered threshold of earnings necessary to exempt these employees amounts to $684 per week.

Exemptions do not apply to the following categories:

These employees are always entitled to the overtime rates established by the FLSA, no matter how high their earnings.

For tips on how to automate the payroll-calculation process, visit our guide to Calculating payroll and 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.

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Arkansas break laws

The state of Arkansas does not require employers to provide breaks, other than to minors under 16 working in entertainment.

If the employer decides to provide break periods, the following rules apply:

Special rules apply to lactation breaks.

Arkansas breastfeeding laws

Arkansas employee rights include a right to lactation breaks.

Employers are required by law to provide a private and appropriate place (a toilet stall is not considered an appropriate place) for breastfeeding employees to express milk.

They also must allow a reasonable amount of time for this activity.

However, the employer can require that the employee takes a lactation break during rest and meal breaks.

Also, the employer may get an exemption from this requirement if they can prove that providing the necessary accommodation would cause undue hardship for the business.

Arkansas child labor laws

Unless the work is deemed hazardous, age 16 is when minors can begin working at most jobs.

The minimum age for employment is 14.

Labor laws for minors under the age of 16

Arkansas child labor laws state that the following rules apply for minors under the age of 16:

Labor law for minors aged 16 and over

Arkansas child labor laws state that the following rules apply for minors over the age of 16:

Prohibited occupations for minors in Arkansas

Arkansas prohibits minors from working in occupations potentially hazardous to their health and wellbeing.

Some of these occupations include the following:

If you need more information about what occupations are prohibited for minors in Arkansas, you can take a look at this Arkansas child labor laws review published by the Arkansas Department of Labor.

Arkansas hiring laws

Abiding by the Arkansas Civil Rights Act, Arkansas employee right make it is illegal for employers to discriminate against employees based on their:

All of these hiring laws apply to employers with 9 or more employees.

Additional protection offered to employees by other legislations include making it illegal to discriminate based on:

When it comes to pre-employment inquiries (interviews), employers cannot ask potential employees questions concerning any of the listed characteristics.

Federal laws that apply in the situation of hiring employees, do the following:

Arkansas Right-to-work law

More than half of US states have what are called “Right-to-work” laws.

These laws were passed with the intention of preventing unions from requiring membership from any employee as a condition of employment.

This is also the case in the Arkansas version of this law.

Arkansas workplace termination laws

Arkansas recognizes “at-will-employment” — meaning that either the employer or employee can terminate the work relationship at any time.

Reasons for termination also do not have to be stated by either party.

However, exemptions apply, and they include some of the following cases where the employer cannot lawfully fire someone:

Final paycheck in Arkansas

When it comes to the final paycheck, different rules apply in the following scenarios:

Arkansas occupational safety

The Occupational Safety and Health Act regulates work safety conditions for most private industries and state programs. All employers covered by this act must provide their employees with workplaces free from known, serious hazards.

There are several types of work hazards, recognized and controlled for by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and include the following:

The OSHA conducts workplace inspections and investigations to make sure these hazards are not present in the workplace.

Arkansas leave requirements

Different states have their own regulations around leave requirements for employers. Here's an overview of both the required and non-required types of leaves in Arkansas.

Required leave in Arkansas

Leaves required by Arkansas law include:

Family and medical leave

Within the US, the only types of leave mandatory across all states are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which guarantees certain employees the right to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year.

This act is designed to help employees balance out work and family responsibilities, and it covers the following scenarios:

Jury duty leave

The employer cannot punish the employee in any way for taking leave to attend jury duty. This means that they cannot require employees to use any available sick days or vacation days to attend court as a juror.

However, employers are not required to pay for the time taken off to this cause.

Voting time leave

When scheduling work hours, the employer must take into account the time an employee needs to be able to vote on election day.

In this case too, the employer is not required to pay any time the employee takes off to vote.

Military leave

When an employee is a member of the armed forces being called into active duty, the employer is required to provide them (unpaid) leave.

Once the employee returns from deployment, they are entitled to the same work conditions (including pay) that they previously had.

Organ or bone marrow donor leave

If the employee decides to become an organ or bone marrow donor, the employer is required to give them up to 90 days off.

The employer decides whether the leave will be paid or unpaid. Employees covered by the FMLA are not eligible for organ and bone marrow donation leave.

Non-required leave in Arkansas

Here we have a list of the types of leaves employers are NOT mandated to provide.

Sick leave

Employers are not required to provide either paid or unpaid sick leave. If the company policy provides these benefits, the employer should comply with the policy.

Vacation or holiday leave

Similarly to sick leave, employers are also not required to provide vacation time or holiday leave. But, if the company offers these benefits — employers need to abide by the policy.

Bereavement leave

In Arkansas, employers are not required to provide the time off to grieve the loss of a close family leave, to attend the funeral, and deal with any directly related matters.

Miscellaneous Arkansas labor laws

Following up is a review of miscellaneous labor laws particular to the state of Arkansas. These include:

Whistleblower protection laws

All states have some form of whistleblower protection laws, created to protect employees against retaliation, when they report their employer's illegal activity.

In this particular state, the Arkansas Whistleblower protection laws protect both private and public employees from employer retaliation. However, they also allow employers the opportunity to correct their conduct violations within a reasonable amount of time.

COBRA laws

One federal law, named the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), gives employees and their families the ability to continue group health benefits once they lose employer-sponsored coverage.

This right applies for a limited period of time, and under certain circumstances, such as:

This is a temporary health coverage extension opportunity, and the employee may be required to pay up to 102% of the plan cost. Also, COBRA laws apply to employers with more than 20 employees.

Similarly to the federal COBRA laws, several states (including Arkansas) have instituted mini-COBRA laws, which apply to employers with less than 20 employees.

Following are the situations where the employer may choose to do so:

Background check laws

In Arkansas, there are no restrictions placed on private employers concerning the ability to obtain and use arrest records.

Additionally, employers are required to conduct background checks for the following categories of employees:

However, when it comes to social media — the employer cannot request that employees add them as social media contacts, nor request social media log-in information.

Record keeping laws

As far as record keeping goes, employers in Arkansas are required to maintain and keep accurate and truthful records of employee data for a period of 3 years.

This data includes:

No particular method of record keeping is prescribed, but the data must be:

Required State and Federal employee notices

Arkansas laws require that employers put up State and Federal employee notices.

These have to be placed in conspicuous places, and easily accessible to all employees.

If not, employers can be required to pay penalties and fines.

The required notices include:

You can find detailed information around which employers are required to put up notices and where to obtain them at this link to the Arkansas Department of Labor & Licencing website.


We hope this Arkansas labor laws guide has been helpful. We advise 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 that this guide was written in Q1 2022, so any changes in the labor laws that were included later than that may not be included in this Arkansas labor laws 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.

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