Arizona Minimum Wage Regulations

Minimum wages in Arizona are determined by state laws and employers cannot go below this minimum. The Arizona minimum wage regulations have been changed a number of times through the years. The newest amendment occurred in November 2016 when Arizona residents voted in favor of Proposition 206.

Arizona Minimum Wage Laws

Proposition 206 in Arizona is also known as the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act. Its primary purpose is to set a minimum wage in the state. Following the approval of Proposition 206, the minimum wage has been set at 10 dollars per hour. In addition, the act envisions the provision of sick time benefits to all workers in the state. Violations are to be examined and sanctions against employers are to be imposed by the Industrial Commission of Arizona.

According to the act, workers employed by companies that have more than 15 employees will get a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work. Whenever a worker is employed by a company that has fewer than 15 employees, will get a minimum of one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours of work. There’s one condition, however – workers aren’t entitled to having or using more than 24 hours of sick leave during a given year. It’s up to the employer to allow for such a provision.

According to Arizona regulations, the minimum wage is to be re-examined annually on every successive January 1. The change in the minimum wage is needed to address inflation and changes in the cost of living.

One important condition to remember is that in Arizona, employers are allowed to pay tipped workers less. As per state regulations, workers who earn tips can be paid a wage set at three dollars below the minimum hourly wage for Arizona. In 2017, the minimum for tipped workers was seven dollars per hour. The only condition for this to occur is for tips earned during the respective period to bring the hourly wage of workers to the state minimum. If the tips aren’t sufficient, the employer will be responsible for paying the difference and bringing the hourly wage to the minimum that’s determined via state laws.

How Will the Minimum Wage Continue Changing through the Years?

As already mentioned, Proposition 206 envisions the gradual and continuous increase in the Arizona minimal wage over the years. The proposition states that a minimal wage of 12 dollars per hour is to be achieved in the period until 2020. The increase to 11 dollars per hour is set for 2019 and a new hike to 12 dollars per hour is going to occur in 2020. As of 2021, the minimum wage in Arizona will undergo adjustments that are sufficient to address changes in the cost of living.

arizona minimum wage regulationsAll employers in Arizona apart from state and governmental agencies are required to pay their workers at least the minimum wage determined by the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act. Small businesses though are exempt from the state mandated minimum wage. According to legal definitions, a small business is a company that makes less than 500,000 dollars per year in revenue. The exclusions, however, are somewhat limited. More information about the businesses that can seek exceptions from minimum wage regulations can be found on the website of the Industrial Commission of Arizona.

Under Arizona minimum wage regulations, workers have the right to file a claim whenever they’re denied either the state minimum or paid sick leave. Employers do not have the right to engage in retaliatory measures against the workers who submit such a claim.

Any complaint about minimum wage payments can be filed with the Industrial Commission of Arizona. The commission has offices in Tucson and Phoenix. It can also be reached via its official email address – LaborAdmin@azica.gov. Always consult experienced employment attorneys to be informed about the regulations and to avoid legal complications.