Wage theft is on the rise in Arizona, according to In These Times. Over the last decade, millions of workers in the State, both documented and undocumented, have lost their hard-earned wages to illegal pay practices. Minimum wage violations are common, as are abuses of the Fair Labor Standards Act, a federal law that governs the payment of overtime.
Filing An Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit In Arizona
No worker should have to put up with wage theft. You’ve worked hard to earn a living and we think it’s time you actually got it. If you believe that your employer is stealing from you, contact our experienced wage and hour attorneys today for a free consultation. We’ve helped hundreds of employees pursue back wages by filing civil unpaid overtime lawsuits on their behalf.
While our lawyers are not licensed to practice law in the State of Arizona, we frequently collaborate with a national alliance of labor attorneys who can help workers in all 50 states, including Arizona. Even better, we always offer our legal services on a contingency-fee basis – you owe nothing until we secure compensation in your case. To find more information about your rights, call us now or complete our online contact form.
How Much Is Minimum Wage In Arizona?
As of January 1, 2017, the minimum wage in Arizona is $10 per hour. That’s far-higher than the current federal rate of $7.25. All employees in Arizona are entitled to the higher of these two rates.
That will remain true even as Arizona’s minimum wage continues to rise. In November of 2016, Arizona residents voted to increase the State’s minimum wage on an annual basis for the next three years. So in 2018, the rate will become $10.50 per hour and, one year later, increase again to $11. By 2020, the minimum wage in Arizona should be $12 an hour. After that, the rate will be pegged to the cost-of-living, rising or falling as the prices of consumer goods and household necessities fluctuate.
Employees Who Make Tips
Arizona, like most other states, allows employers in the State to pay workers who receive tips a lower cash wage. By law, Arizona businesses can pay their tipped workers a rate $3 less than the minimum wage, so long as they can prove that, combined together, the employee’s hourly rate in tips and hourly cash wage add up to at least the minimum wage.
So a tipped employee making up to $3 per hour on average in tips could be paid a cash wage of $7 per hour. A worker making $2 an hour in tips could be paid $8 in wages. Any cash wage lower than $7 per hour, though, would be illegal, even if the employee makes enough in tips to surpass the minimum wage. Again, the worker must be making at least the State’s minimum wage ($10 per hour in 2017) in tips and wages combined.
Arizona Overtime Laws
While Arizona has its own minimum wage laws, the State doesn’t have specific statutes addressing overtime pay. That means federal law kicks in. The Fair Labor Standards Act, America’s primary labor law, says all eligible employees are entitled to an overtime wage no less than 1.5-times their regular rate for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.
The Federal Standard
Most workers in the United States are considered “non-exempt,” which means that all of the provisions in the Fair Labor Standards Act apply to them. Of course, some workers are “exempt,” and thus not entitled to the minimum wage or overtime pay. The biggest class of exemptions relates to “white collar” employees, people who make salaries of more than $23,660 per year and perform certain job duties. Everyone else, outside a specific list of occupations, is entitled to overtime pay. You probably fit the bill, but if you’re not sure, you can check out our detailed guide on the topic here.
Non-exempt workers in Arizona, those people who are entitled to overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act, should be paid time-and-a-half for their extra hours. In most cases, your overtime rate should just be 1.5 times your normal wage, but bonuses and commissions also have to be included occasionally. Overtime starts after you’ve already worked 40 hours in a single workweek, which the law defines as seven consecutive 24-hour periods.
Contact An Arizona Wage & Hour Lawyer Now
Not every employer follows the Arizona State and federal labor laws. We’ve spoken with hundreds of workers who are getting ripped off, working long hours but failing to receive the money they are owed. And, in Arizona, with its large population of undocumented workers, the problem is particularly bad. It might surprise you to learn that the Fair Labor Standards Act protects all workers, documented and undocumented alike. Your immigration status doesn’t matter; if you work, you should be paid correctly.