With some limited exceptions, Arizona employers must pay all full-time, part-time, and temporary employees at least the minimum wage for every hour (or partial hour) the employee works.

Pursuant to Arizona’s Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act (“the Arizona Act”), Arizona’s minimum wage will increase on January 1, 2019, from the current $10.50 per hour to $11 per hour.   The minimum wage will again increase by fifty cents per hour one year later, on January 1, 2020, bringing it to $11.50.  Every New Year’s day thereafter, Arizona’s minimum wage will be increased in line with cost-of-living increases.

 Several Arizona cities have enacted a higher minimum wage than the one set forth in the Arizona Act, in which case an employee in that city would be entitled to the higher minimum wage.  For example, Flagstaff has set the minimum wage for employees in its jurisdiction at $11 an hour, with it increasing to $12 per hour on January 1, 2019.  Flagstaff’s minimum wage rates will be adjusted upwards annually, reaching $15.50 in 2022.

The Industrial Commission of Arizona enforces the Arizona minimum wage laws. All employers must post in a conspicuous area, such as an employee break room, the AZ State Minimum Wage Poster  (2018) (English).  The commission has not yet issued the 2019 poster.

 Tipped Minimum Wage

 One of the exceptions to the Arizona minimum wage requirements discussed above relates to certain categories of employees who receive tips.  Under Arizona law, employers may pay employees who regularly receive tips or gratuities up to $3.00 per hour less than the minimum wage, provided the employer can prove that the employee’s tips plus wages equal at least the minimum wage rate in effect at the time.  For example, as of January 1, 2019, when the Arizona minimum age increases to $11 per hour, employers must pay tipped employees $8 per hour so long as the employee routinely receives at least $3 per hour in tips thereby bringing the employee’s hourly earnings to $11 per hour.

Employers with tipped employees will have to ensure compliance with federal and any local laws that have additional or different compliance standards.

Retaliation & Discrimination

Arizona’s Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act protects employees from retaliation and discrimination related to asserting a wage claim, assisting any other person in asserting such a claim, or informing others of their rights under the law.

If you have any questions regarding federal, state or local wage and hour laws, including minimum wage laws and the various exceptions to those laws that may apply to you or in your workplace, we can help guide you through the labyrinth of competing rules.

The lawyers at Faulkner Law Offices, PLLC have decades of experience in all areas of employment law, including complying with and handling disputes involving applicable wage and hour laws.