State and federal labor regulations are determined by wage and hour laws, which specify how much time employees spend working and how much pay they receive for that time. Topics such as tipped earnings, breaks for meals and rest, overtime rates, what is counted as time worked, employer compensation obligations, etc. are all covered under wage and hour laws. Because compliance is crucial, employers must be sure to gain a comprehensive understanding.
Minimum Wage in Arizona
Workers in Arizona receive a minimum wage of $8.05 per hour. This is compared to the federal minimum wage rate determined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which stipulates that workers must be paid a wage of $7.25 per hour. Federal guidelines require that workers receive whatever wage rate is more generous.
Minimum Wage of Tipped Workers: Arizona employees in receipt of tips and gratuities can be paid a direct wage that is $3 less than the existing minimum wage (currently resulting in a $5.05 hourly wage rate for tipped workers). When receiving the lower rate, a worker’s tips and direct wage combined must total the standard minimum wage, or employers are obligated make up the difference. The federal tipped minimum wage works similarly, for instance, employers can pay workers earning tips $2.13 per hour provided that total earnings equal the standard minimum wage.
Does Minimum Wage Apply to Me: While most Arizona employees are included in the state’s minimum wage laws, there are a few exemptions. For instance, those offering babysitting services, those employed by parents or siblings and state and federal government workers are typically not covered. Some small businesses annually grossing under $500,000 can also be exempt, but these exclusions are rather limited. For a full listing of exemptions, please refer to the Industrial Commission of Arizona.
When are Raises Required: In general, raises are a matter of agreement between employer and employee and typically require meeting certain work goals. Neither Arizona nor the FLSA include provisions regarding employee raises.
Work Hours in Arizona
Arizona workers are not limited to the amount of hours they can work in a day or week. Additionally, the FLSA dictates that all workers 16 and older are allowed to work as much or as little as they prefer over the course of a day or week.
Paying Overtime: Because Arizona is lacking specific laws governing overtime pay, employers must follow federal standards. To this end, those working more than 40 hours in a single work week must be paid a rate of one and one-half times their regular wage. According to federal law, exceptions to overtime pay include executives, outside sales employees, administrative professionals, etc.
Guaranteed Breaks and Meals: Workers in Arizona are not guaranteed breaks for meals or rest under state or federal law. The only exception is for nursing mothers, who must be afforded breaks in order to express milk for up to one year after giving birth. However, employers are free to create agreements with employees pertaining to daily breaks for the purpose of meals and rest.
Paid Time-off and Sick Pay: Arizona employers are not legally obligated to provide workers with paid time-off or sick pay, and federal law is also without regulations in this regard. Employers often forge agreements with workers pertaining to paid time-off and sick pay, which must be honored.
Notice Period for Employee Termination: Arizona employers maintain an at-will relationship with most employees. As a result, without a contract stating otherwise, Arizona employers may terminate employment at any time for any reason without giving prior notice. The FLSA also lacks provisions in this area.
Plant Closings & Layoffs: In absence of Arizona laws regarding plant closings and mass layoffs, employers are bound to the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN). WARN stipulates that 60 days’ written notice must be afforded by enterprises employing 100 or more full-time workers when closings and layoffs involve 50 or more employees at a single site.
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