Arizona Employee Rights Lawyer
Employees working in the state of Arizona have a right to representation in the event of illegal practices in the workplace.
Hilltop Law Firm provides Arizona workers with the level of expertise they need to understand their rights under Arizona labor law and how to move forward in the event of illegal conditions at their workplace.
We offer 100% Free consultations to anyone in Arizona who suspects they're victims to illegal labor practices within the state.
Wrongful Termination Laws in Arizona
Nearly all forms of employment contracts in Arizona are considered "at will". An "at will" employment agreement gives employers the ability to terminate the agreement for nearly any reason.
Despite have a multitude of viable reasons to terminate an at will employee, this does not mean an employer hasn't broken the law regarding the dismissal of an employee.
There are still a wide range of circumstances under Federal and Arizona labor laws that protect employees, even in an "at will" contract.
Has Your Employer Violated Your Rights?
As stated, in an "at will" contract, employers can terminate the employment of an employee for several reasons.
These reasons often include but are not limited to:
- Lack Of Company Cash Flow (Cutting Back Staff)
- Poor Employee Performance
- No Reason At All (Yes, this is still legal)
Despite the array of reasons (or lack there of) for which an employer can fire an employee, there are still several reasons that may breach the employment contract and be illegal under Arizona labor law.
There are 3 common scenarios that are associated with most wrongful termination cases:
- Collecting Workers' Compensation
Being terminated for the 3 conditions above is illegal under Federal and Arizona employment law, for employees working in private companies, unions and government positions.
Hilltop Law Firm provides a free comprehensive analysis of your situation which provides a clearer picture as to whether your rights have been violated.
You've Been Wrongfully Terminated - What's Next?
If your rights have been violated, we can begin pursuing legal action for the following damages:
- Legal Fees
- Fees Associated with Finding New Employment
- Continuing Insurance Benefits
- Lost Wages Compensation
- Reclassifying The Termination as a Voluntary Resignation
The goal of pursuing a wrongful termination case in Arizona centers on obtaining severance or a cash settlement that works in the best interest of the wronged employee.
Understanding Sexual Harassment Laws in Arizona
As provided in the Arizona Civil Rights Act, Arizonans are protected from illegal employment practices discrimination on employees based on sex, which includes sexually harassing employees.
These laws cover any Arizona employer that has one or more employees.
Current Arizona sexual harassment laws do not require employees to be trained in their employer's policy regarding this illegal activity - but this training comes strongly recommended for all employees.
Many employers offer training to prevent sexual harassment in their workplace, which allows the activity to be easily identified by employees and members of management.
Educating the workforce in all forms of workplace harassment prevention typically creates an environment where such situations become less likely.
What If I've Been Sexually Harassed at My Job?
If you feel that you've been sexually harassed at your place of employment, the first step to take involves reporting the incident to your employer.
Sadly, in some cases there mere reporting of such behavior can lead to more harassment or employer retaliation.
Retaliation for reporting sexual harassment at the workplace often includes demotion, change in responsibilities and even wrongful termination.
Many times an employer may choose to simply ignore your sexual harassment complaint and carry on as if it never was reported.
In situations where an employer ignores, continues, or expands the harassment of an employee, legal action must be taken.
Proving Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
With mounting claims regarding sexual harassment in the workplace, documenting this behavior has become more crucial than ever.
The victim should gather eyewitness statements that can later be used to support their claim.
Also, digital discovery (or electronic discovery) has supported many recent cases that involve sexaul harassment in the workplace.
Digital discovery includes social media activity, digital images, emails and text messages.
Sometimes evidence can include physical photographs or written documents left in the place of employment of the victim.
It will be vital to the investigation to gather all said evidence to determine to what extent the victim was harmed by sexual harassment.
Filing Sexual Harassment Charges Against Your Employer
In cases where an employer has ignored, continued, or expanded the harassment of an employee, further measures must be taken.
Arizona and Federal laws prohibit sexual harassment in all workplaces.
Being subjected to such harassment in the workplace enables an employee the right to take action by filing formal charges against the employer.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Arizona Civil Rights Division are two organizations that employees can turn to for filing formal sexual harassment charges against their employer.
An employment law attorney can provide legal insight into which agency would best suit their client's sexual harassment complaint.
Filing a Lawsuit Against Your Employer
There are instances where the EEOC or Arizona Civil Rights Division cannot resolve the issue, in most cases leading the wronged employee to file suit against the employer.
Having a knowledgeable workplace attorney with experience in these types of cases will benefit an employee looking to file suit against their employer.
As expected, your employer will have their own legal team actively working to discredit and deny your claims of sexual harassment, which makes having your own lawyer vital to your pursuit for justice.
What Are The Results of a Typical Sexual Harassment Lawsuit?
When sexual harassment takes place on the job, it usually results in the victim incurring monetary loses and suffering severe emotional distress.
If you feel that you've been the victim of sexual harassment at your place of employment, you may be entitled to receiving significant financial compensation.
Such a judgement against a negligent employer will also likely result in structural changes within the company, preventing other employees from falling victim to similar harassment scenarios in the future.
Arizona Workplace Discrimination Laws
The Arizona Civil Rights Act outlaws the following forms of employer discrimination against employees
- Physical Disability (excluding substance abuse)
Any employee that believes he or she was discriminated against because of any of the above conditions are encouraged to call Hilltop Law Firm immediately.
Hostile Work Environment Laws in Arizona
Though more vague than harassment and discrimination laws, hostile work environment laws exist Federally to protect employees against such damaging environments.
Defining a Hostile Work Environment
There are Five Core Conditions courts evaluate to determine if your work environment has become hostile.
- You are a victim of harassment
- The harassment has become severe, offensive or abusive
- Harassment has become continual
- Harassment prohibits job functions
- Employer has not addressed the harassment
If the above conditions apply to your work environment, a resolution must be sought to end the hostile nature of your workplace.
First, employees should keep detailed documentation of their experiences in the hostile work environment, which will help prove their case either to their employer or a judge.
Next, reach out to the offender and ask that he or she stop the abusive treatment.
Often, people do not realize how hurtful their words or actions are towards their coworkers. Sometimes pointing this out will end the hostility immediately and resolve the situation for all parties concerned.
It's likely best to bring up a hostile environment to the offender with a third party present, usually an HR representative or fellow unbiased co-worker.
Having a witness may ease a tense situation as well as provide evidence if the hostility cannot be resolved at this level.
If speaking to the offender did not resolve the issue, reaching out to your employer should be the next step.
Speaking to a member of management or an HR representative gives your employer an opportunity to intervene and correct a hostile situation of this nature.
Having witnesses to the abuse present during this meeting will likely support your claims against the offending co-worker creating the hostile environment.
After having spoke to your employer, if the hostility continues, it will now be time to file a complaint with the EEOC and reach out to a workplace lawyer.
Once a claim has been formally filed with the EEOC, the victim can opt to file a lawsuit against the employer due to the hostile work environment they have endured.
Arizona Wage and Overtime Laws
As of January 1st 2017, the Arizona minimum wage stands at $10.50 per hour, as passed in Proposition 206.
The Arizona minimum wage will increase to $11.00 per hour in 2019, $12.00 per hour in 2020 and begin being adjusted per cost of living starting in 2021.
Employees that receive tips can legally be paid up to $3.00 per hour less than Arizona minimum wage by their employers.
There are also 3 additional classes of employee that are not subject to Arizona's minimum wage laws:
- Employees working for a parent or sibling
- Employees providing babysitting services at an employer's home on a casual basis.
- Employees working for the Federal Government or the State of Arizona
Flagstaff Minimum Wage Increases
Starting on January 1st 2018, the minimum wage in Flagstaff, Arizona increased to $11 per hour.
It will increase to $12 in 2019, $13 in 2020, $15 in 2021 (or $2 above the Arizona State Minimum wage) and $15.50 in 2022 (or $2 above the Arizona State Minimum wage), with adjustments beyond 2022 being based on the consumer price index.
Arizona State Overtime Laws and Regulations
Arizona follows all Federal Law regarding overtime regulations.
Employers must pay all non-exempt employees overtime pay for all additional hours worked beyond the standard 40 hour work week at one and a half their normal hourly wage.
Common Exemptions to Arizona Overtime Laws
- Partsmen or mechanics
Though salaried Professional, Executive and Administrative employees can be exempt by Federal Law, under Arizona minimum wage laws they are not exempt.
Under Arizona wage laws, employees must be paid a salary that equates to at least a minimum wage for all hours worked.
This sometimes results in a higher salary wage requirement than dictated by Federal wage laws.
Holiday - Vacation - Sick Pay in Arizona
Arizona employees may work weekends or holiday without being required to receive any additional compensation from their employers.
Arizona employers are not required to offer any paid time off (vacation pay) or holiday paid time off.
With the November 2016 passing of the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act, Arizona employers are now required to provide paid sick leave to their employees.
Any employer in Arizona with 15 or more employees must grant up to 40 hours of earned paid sick time per year, accumulating at a rate of 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.
If the employer has less than 15 employees, they must allow their workers to accumulate 24 hours of paid sick time per year, at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked.
When To Seek Legal Counsel For Employment Disputes
As detailed above, several situations that happen in the everyday workplace require the services of a trained employment lawyer.
Seeking the legal counsel of an attorney with experience in workplace law and employee rights will guarantee your case receive the attention it rightfully deserves.
Reach out to Hilltop Law Firm today for a 100% FREE - ZERO OBLIGATION Consultation