Fired Article

Arizona Employment Protection Act

The Employment Relationship

In Arizona, employment is “at-will.”  A.R.S. § 23-1501. At-will employment means that the employer can fire the employee at any time or the employee can quit at any time.  There are some exceptions to this general rule.  For example, an employer cannot fire an employee if another law prevents firing an employee for a specific reason, such as firing someone because of their race or because the employee was called to jury duty.

The Arizona Employment Protection Act is an exception to “employment-at-will.”  This law prevents an employer from firing an employee for certain reason. A.R.S. § 23-1502

Illegal Firings

Under the Employment Protection Act, an employer cannot fire an employee for these reasons:

(a) If a written employment contract exists and the contract says the employer cannot fire the employee.  Most employees do not have a written employment contract.

(b) There is an Arizona state law that says an employer cannot fire an employee for that reason.  For example, Arizona has laws that prevent employers from firing employees because of their race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age over 40, disability, or genetic information. (For more information read the article Discrimination on the Job in this section.) Arizona employers also cannot fire an employee for filing a safety complaint. A.R.S. §23-245.

(c) In retaliation for the employee:

(i) Refusing to violate the Arizona Constitution or laws of Arizona,

(ii) Telling the employer the employee believes the employer or other employees have violated or will violate the Constitution of Arizona or laws of Arizona.

(iii) Using Arizona’s workers' compensation program.

(iv) Serving on a jury.

(v) Voting in elections. 

(vi) Not joining a union.

(vii) Serving in the national guard or armed forces.

(viii) Refusing to pay fees or gratuities as a condition of employment.

(ix) Refusing to purchase goods or supplies from any particular person as a condition of employment.

(x) Using leave if the employee is a victim of a juvenile offense a victim of a crime.

What to do if you believe you were Fired in Violation of the AZ Employment Protection Act

If you believe you were fired for a reason protected by the Arizona Employment Protection Act, review your employer’s procedure to determine who you should speak to and arrange a meeting with that person.  If your employer does not have a procedure about who to talk to in you believe you should not have been fired, talk to the people responsible for Human Resources in your company.

Give the employer as many specific facts as you have. Listen to the employer’s explanation.

If, after speaking with your employer, you still think you are were fired for a reason protected by the Arizona Employment Protection Act you should contact a private employment law attorney and discuss the facts with the attorney.



  • I was terminated from my job because I injured myself, is this a legal practice that employers in this state can do ?
  • When is it NOT LEGAL to terminate an employee; i.e., what are the grounds for termination of employment that the law prohibits?
  • I have not yet been fired but have been told that if I refuse to wear a face mask during this covid 19 thing I will will be fired. I have already been suspended. My employer has not posted or provided employees with any type of policy stating if you do not wear a mask here are the consequences. I called our Division VP and HR. They...prior to hanging up on me stated they are not required to provide us with a new policy. I was told that word of mouth is enough. Is this correct?
  • My former employer is verbally abusive on a daily basis and creates an extremely hostile workplace. After tolerating this for 6 months, I finally gave him my 2 week notice. He proceeded to say 'No, I'll end this right here' asked me for my key and walked me out. I then filed for unemployment, which has since been denied. I'm sure he said I quit, which is not the case. This person also made advances to my 16 ear old daughter when she was at work with me over the summer. Do I have a claim? I'm having a hard time getting a response from local attorney's.
  • mi pregunta es ,me dieron ley off y mi compania no me ha pagado mis vacaciones y mi 401k esta conjelado quiero saber que dercos tengo

     "My question is, I got laid off and my company has not paid for my vacation time, and my 401K is frozen, I would like to know what are my rights."

  • After working at my job for 6+ months with no disciplinary issues, I was diagnosed with some health conditions. I brought a note from my doctor stating that provisions were to be made. Shorly after this I started being written up approximately every 2-3 weeks on a regular basis until it reached 3 write ups. The write ups were for health related incidents and for doing something "wrong" that I had previously been told to do it that way. I believe I was discriminated against and wrongfully terminated. I have no money and need legal advice desperately. Thanks
  • Can a company terminate me for accepting a call from and army Sargent about important information. Even though company policy says no phones
  • After being fired from my job I began collecting unemployment. Now they are fighting it . They have not appeared for the phone hearing and now are re-appealing. How do I get help?
  • So if I got fired from my job how long does the company legally have to pay me my last check?
  • I was fired from my job. Prior to the firing I had asked the Director to investigate issues of abuse by the Managers towards the Latina and African American staff. I know that my firing was due to this. Do I have any recourse?




  • Please select your county of residence below.



  • State Bar of Arizona
  • Maricopa County Bar
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program