Wage Claims Article


Arizona's Minimum Wage Law

In November 2016, voters increased Arizona’s existing minimum wage and added an employer paid sick leave requirement by approving Proposition 206 - the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Initiative. This publication explains the minimum wage increase.

What is Arizona's minimum wage?

$10.50 per hour as of January 1, 2018.  

Does the minimum wage change?

The minimum wage increases by a set amount each January 1 in 2018, 2019, and 2020.

On January 1, 2018, the minimum wage increases to $10.50 per hour.

On January 1, 2019, the minimum wage increases to $11.00 per hour.

On January 1, 2020, the minimum wage increases to $12.00 per hour.

 On January 1 of each year after 2020, the state’s minimum wage will be adjusted based on a cost of living formula.
 
Are any employers not covered by the law?

Arizona government and the federal government are employers not covered by this law.

Who is an employee?

Employee" means any person who is or was employed by an employer but does not include any person who is employed by a parent or a sibling, or who is employed performing babysitting services in the employer's home on a casual basis.

Are tipped employees covered under the Arizona Fair Wages and Healthy Families Initiative?

Yes. For employees who customarily and regularly receive tips, the employer can pay up to $3.00 less than the minimum wage per hour.   

What if the federal minimum wage is lower than Arizona’s minimum wage?

Arizona’s employers must pay Arizona’s minimum wage.  Minimum wage laws require employers to always pay the higher of the federal or state minimum wage.

Does an employer have to post a notice about the state minimum wage law?


Yes. This notice should be posted where other required notices are posted.

Does an employee have the right to look at and copy their payroll records?

Yes. Also, an employee can have a designated representative, such as a parent,
attorney or union representative, look at the employee’s payroll records.  A.R.S.§ 23-364(D).

Is the employer required to pay employees the state minimum wage if federal law does not require the employer to pay a minimum wage or salary?

Yes.  The Arizona Industrial Commission takes the position that employers must pay all employees the state minimum wage for each hour worked in a week even if the employer does not have to pay the employee a weekly salary under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  For example, under the FLSA, employers do not have to pay a minimum salary to outside salesperson paid on commission.  However, Arizona’s minimum wage law requires employers to pay the outside salesperson paid on commission the state minimum wage when the weekly sales commission falls below the state minimum wage.

Are employees protected from retaliation if they make a claim under the Arizona minimum wage law?

Yes. Employers also cannot retaliate against an employee for making a claim under the Arizona minimum wage law or assisting any other person that makes a minimum wage claim or informs any person about their rights under the Arizona minimum wage law. A.R.S. §23-364(B).

Is there an agency where complaints can be filed if an employer is not paying the minimum wage or has retaliated against an employee for complaining that the employer has not paid the minimum wage?

Yes. Complaints can be filed with the Arizona Industrial Commission located at:   

Phoenix: 800 W Washington St, Phoenix AZ 85007
Phone: (602) 542-4515

Tucson: 2675 East Broadway, Tucson AZ 85716
Phone: (520) 628-5459

Their e-mail address is:  [email protected]
This is a link to their Web-site - http://www.ica.state.az.us/Labor/Labor_main.aspx

An employee not paid Arizona’s minimum wage may collect the lost wages and interest on those lost wages.  The employee may also be able to get an additional amount equal to twice the unpaid amount in some cases. A.R.S. § 23-364(G).

An employee should contact the Commission no later than one year after a minimum wage pay violation last occurs.
 
Can an employee sue an employer to recover unpaid minimum wages?

Yes.  Employees should consult with an employment law attorney about their right to sue.  Lawsuits about Arizona’s minimum wage law must be filed no later than two years after a violation last occurs, or three years in the case of a willful violation. A.R.S § 23-364(H)

You can find the minimum wage law at A.R.S. §§ 23-362-364.

Some additional information published by the Arizona Industrial Commission about Arizona’s Minimum Wage law located here - "https://www.azica.gov/labor-frequently-asked-questions-english

Legal Correspondent: Dave Smith   November 22, 2016      Revised January 30, 2018

Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • Does an employer have to pay accrued sick and personal/vacation time to an employee that has given a resignation?
  • During my current 6 months of employment, I was hired as a 1099 employee and then transitioned to a W2 employee (paid salary + commission)and then forced back to a 1099 employee by my employer. Despite earning commissions from the first month of employment, I have yet to be paid any commissions. They initially told me I they would pay them and then they ignored by requests for payment. Can an employer withhold and deny paying earned commissions and if so, how long. Are they subject to any penalties or fines for will fully with holding earned commission? What can I do?
  • i recently quit a job because my employer altered my contract without my permission and presented it as the original . now she won't pay me my last paycheck. is there an organization that can help me with a inexpensive lawyer (at least for a consultation) or should i take this to small claims court?
  • My employee quit without giving required two weeks notice. In contract that he signed, it says specifically that if he quits without notice, I as an employer have a right to deduct from his final paycheck any costs incurred by his resignation. Employee agreed to this and signed the contract, but now he demands full payment. Can I reduce his pay? I had to cover his work by hiring a replacement
  • My employer has been deducting $20 from every employees paycheck every week stating we would get it back at the end of the year if there were no claims filed. It is a moving company and the employer carries insurance. It is past the end of the year and no one has received any of their money back. No one signed anything consenting these deductions either. Is what he is doing illegal and what should we do about it? Who do I need to contact?
  • Can Child Support take my school loans and grants? If it is my only income at the moment?
  • An employee has quit working for me and has equipment belonging to me. The employee has been paid through his last day worked but demands additional money before he will return my equipment. Is this legal?
  • I worked for an AC company and during that time of my employment my AC needed service. They fixed it at a discount price and we agreed that I would make weekly payment until the balance is paid. Well I was terminated before being able to pay off the balance. My question is can they withhold that from my final paycheck? Also they're charging me for a price book that I dont have and some uniforms that were missing but I turned in whatever uniforms I had. Can they withhold that as well?
  • My employer provides hand written payroll checks every 2 weeks, however has never provided me with a paystub. In reading statutes, I was only able to find specific language regarding wage statements being required for electronic deposits. Annual statements are provided, however I have found discrepancies on these statements (amounts not matching checks received, pay dates missing from statements, pay dates listed on statement that weren't actually pay dates, incorrect taxes withheld). I have requested regular pay stubs, but they will not provide them. What can I do?
  • Can a company not pay overtime (over 40 hrs a wk)if they are a courier company and the employee is paid a hourly wage instead of per package? How does that work?

STORIES

  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .
  • If you get a divorce, make sure your date of birth is on the Decree if your name is changing!. . .
  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .

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OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
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