Arizona Minimum Wage Requirements for Employers
The Arizona minimum wage requirements are updated periodically and the last time such a change got enforced was on January 1, 2018. The modification occurred under the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act. Over the years, the act has contributed to a couple of minimum wage hikes, as well as to additional benefits for employees – earned paid sick time benefits, overtime benefits and vacation leaves to name a few.
Arizona’s Minimum Wage
Starting January 1, the minimum hourly wage in Arizona is 10.5 dollars per hour. For tipped workers, the minimum has been set at 7.5 dollars per hour. Employers, however, have the obligation to make sure that the hourly payments and tips combined result in a base payment of 10.5 dollars per hour.
Only a few exceptions apply to this minimum wage as it is established under the act. The exceptions include the following:
- Working in a family business for a parent or a sibling
- Working for a company that has less than 500,000 dollars in annual revenue (if the small company isn’t covered by the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act)
- Babysitting on a casual basis at the home of the respective employer
- Working for the State of Arizona or the US government
Prior to the 2018 hike, the minimum hourly wage was 8.05 dollars per hour.
Over the years, the minimum wage is expected to grow gradually even further. A new update is set to take place in January 2019. This is when the minimum wage will increase to 11 dollars per hour. In 2020, the minimum is set to become 12 dollars per hour.
Adjustments are based on inflation and cost of living calculations.
Which Employers Have to Adhere to Arizona Minimum Wage Requirements Law
All employers in Arizona have to base their payments on the minimum wage requirements set forward by the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act.
According to Arizona laws, an employer is any organization, company, trust or association that acts in the interest of an employer in the relationship with an employee. The state of Arizona, small businesses and the US government are the only entities exempt from the definition.
All small businesses who have gross annual revenue underneath the 500,000-dollar threshold are exempt from the Arizona minimum wage requirements. Because of these requirements, however, very few companies will qualify for an exemption from the minimum wage regulations in the state.
It’s also important to keep in mind that the minimum wage requirements apply to all kinds of workers – full-time employees, part-time and seasonal workers.
The Consequences of a Minimum Wage Requirement Violation
Employers are legally bound to follow the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act provisions. A violation could potentially lead to serious sanctions.
Apart from having to pay minimum wages, Arizona employers are also obliged to maintain meticulous records. Bookkeeping failures will lead to civil penalties of at least 250 dollars. If a subsequent violation is identified, the sanction will go up to at least 1,000 dollars.
Depending on the severity of the omission and the number of violations, the company may be subjected to monitoring for a certain period of time.
If an employee believes that their employer is failing to provide minimum wage payments, a signal can be submitted to the Labor Department of the Industrial Commission of Arizona. Subsequently, the worker can also decide to go on and file a civil lawsuit.
Such an employee is protected against employer retaliation. This means that the company can’t dismiss the respective worker solely on the basis of the fact that they submitted an official minimum wage complaint.
In the case of retaliation that is identified following an investigation, the employer will have to pay no less than 150 dollars per each day over which the violation continued.
If you are experiencing minimum wage issues or you believe that your employer is retaliating against you, get in touch with an experienced Arizona employment lawyer today to get a better idea about the available remedies and options.