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

  • I worked as in Independent Contractor and was just let go by the owner, when does he have to pay me for services? Is it the same as if I were an employee? (within 24 hours)? Thanks,
  • If I feel I earned more than I was paid, is there a government organization I can call to confirm that?
  • Do commission only paid employees get sick pay?
  • I was hired to work 8:30am to 5pm at a daycare and when i get there if there is not enough kids they will make me wait to start my shift until there are enough kids or work to do, the hours i am waiting are not being paid. I have also got in trouble for leaving the building if i am told i cant start yet. They want me to sit there and wait unpaid for sometimes up to 3 hours. I have brought this up to my manager but i feel they are taking advantage of my age because i am only 19
  • 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
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • I am considered an employee, receiving pay for piece work completed. Is my employer required to pay me weekly, monthly or what? Where can I find more information on piece work/employee status?
  • I want to file a Civil Action Lawsuit against my former employer for unpaid wages. I'm owed $1323.00. Can I do this on my own or do I need an attorney?

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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
    Link

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