Can the Minimum Wage in Arizona Change for Younger Workers?

minimum wage in arizonaThe state of Arizona has been making strides when it comes to paying a living wage. The minimum wage here is now well above the national average, sitting at $11 an hour right now. In 2020, that will rise to $12 an hour and many individual municipalities in the state are discussing raising it even higher.

However, these minimum wage hikes have not come without opposition, some of which continues today. In this article, we want to talk about a movement by some lawmakers to lower the minimum wage for younger workers in the state.

If you think you have been treated unfairly by your employer, you may need to seek legal assistance from an Arizona employment law attorney. You have to right to be protected in the workplace – state and federal law are here for you.

What Is Going On?

Some Republican lawmakers have proposed allowing the minimum wage for workers under the age of 22 to be paid just $7.25 an hour, the current federal minimum wage.

Yes, you read that right – lawmakers want to be able to pay people less than the current laws allow.

There are a few problems with this proposal. One problem we see is that this would result in clear age discrimination. Why should anyone who is asked to work the same job at the same amount of hours be paid less than any other worker?

The Arizona attorney general told the lawmakers that they have another problem – he says that the only way this proposal could pass is with a three-fourths vote so meet state constitution requirements.

This is due to the Voter Protection Act that prevents lawmakers from changing voter-approved laws, which the minimum wage hikes were.

The House passed the proposal in February with a 31-29 vote without any support from Democrats. The Senate Rules Committee delayed a vote after they requested more legal analysis on the proposal.

What You Need To Know

You have the right to be paid a fair wage if you work in Arizona. Yes, many states do have a lower minimum wage. Some even choose to follow the federal minimum wage. However, that is not the case here.

According to the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers must follow the minimum wages set forth in the locality. Along with a fair wage, workers in Arizona are entitled to overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours a week unless they are exempt by law.

Please note that neither federal or state law requires employers to pay for breaks or meal times for their workers. However, if an employer CHOOSES to give breaks, they must pay for shorter breaks (typically under 20 mins).

How An Attorney Can Help Your Case

When you work in the state of Arizona, you have certain rights that are protected by state and federal law. Please know that you do not have to put up with any of the following:

  • Discrimination based on race, color, sex, pregnancy status gender, national origin, disability, or genetic information
  • Sexual harassment, either physical or verbal
  • Not being paid a fair wage
  • Not receiving overtime

An Arizona employment attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve for all what you have been through. This can include:

  • lost income and benefits if you were fired
  • reinstatement to your position if fired or demoted
  • promotion if it is due
  • legal fees and court costs
  • pain and suffering damages
  • punitive damages against your employer

You have rights and by coming forward you can help ensure that nobody else has to go through what you did.

Find out about the ASU employees that said the university violated family leave law.