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.



  • 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
  • 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?
  • I was employed by a Cruise Line located in Hawaii but I reside permanently in Arizona. I was wrongfull terminated by the company for supposed theft of alcohol during an event. There is no emerical proof of me doing this on video footage. I originally was a union member but as I was promoted to an officer on-board, my position changed to non-union. How can I go about fighting the accusations and being compensated for my travel exspensed home, defamation of character, and the loss of my job?
  • I left a job to work with another dentist for a better opportunity this dentist offer me what i was looking for plus training since I didnt know the program he works my surprise his office manager never gave me training or allow me to use the computer all i did was sit there. after 2 weeks he waited 30min before i had to at work to call me and tell me it wasnt working. now i'm left with out a job what are my rights?? their is something I can do. I live in arizona. he even wanted me to leave my pervious job a week early to work for him and he did this. please give me a good advise
  • My boss said I had to pay him $3,000 Dollars for damages to his truck or I Did not have a job anymore. Is this legal?
  • 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?
  • I was recently let go from my job of 5 yrs. for testing positive on a random drug n alcohol test. I dont drink and the test showed the levels of scoop mouthwash alcohol content not what was in my body. I told my manger but he let me go anyway. How can I show that it was a false reading? I am allergic to alcohol.
  • Can my boss fire me for not sighing a contract and if he does can I collect unemployment
  • Is my employer required to give me confirmation in writing of my termination at the time of firing?
  • I was fired for forwarding an email deemed nudity but the word penis appeared. Other people have received only reprimands for like offenses. I believe the termination was personal because the Pres. didn't like me...My sales performance was not in question. Others have numerous formal complaints against them and were ordered to anger mgmt. classes, but still employed. I knew there was a policy against what I did...even my boss and I traded emails before. Do I have a chance at any recourse?


  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .




  • 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