Arizona Labor Law Board

In Arizona the Industrial Commission of Arizona is the governing body of labor issues.  It was originally founded to help with workers compensation issues in 1925.  Since then this organization has taken on almost all of the responsibilities that are associated with the laws of labor to help you in Arizona.  The commission is run by a five member committee.  This five member committee is picked by the governor of the state however approvals of these appointments must go through the state’s legislature.

This organization oversees all of aspects of labor laws for you.  These range from protecting the minor workers in the state to administering the health and safety of the various employers throughout the state.  This commission also helps you to handle all issues in regards to workers compensation and wage issues.  They are also responsible for the control of OSHA in the state of Arizona, thus making them the overseers of your safety while working.  They work to make sure that you are always in a safe working environment through education and making and enforcing safety rules for the workplace.  They want to provide for you the ability to go into work and not have to worry about whether or not you are going to come home hurt and if so what they are going to do about it.

The ICA is run by Larry Etchechury who is the director as appointed by the governor.  This commission oversees all activities and laws that are provided to protect you.  They cover all areas of labor in the state of Arizona, ranging from minor labor laws to overtime and everything that can be found in between.  They are responsible for both the administration and the enforcement of these laws as well.  They also ensure that companies are in compliance with these laws ion regards to you.

241 thoughts on “Arizona Labor Law Board

  1. Hi Jessica! You should probably do two things. First, phone the restaurant, not your boss’s cell phone. If he is not available, leave a message that you will be in the next day to pick up your final paycheck. Then, go to the restaurant during business hours the next day and ask for your check. If you are not given a paycheck, file a wage claim with the Industrial Commission of Arizona at http://www.ica.state.az.us/Labor/Labor_WagClm_main.aspx. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  2. Hi

    My question is that when I was hired. I was told that I was going to make $12.50
    a hour. I got my first check from my calculation I was paid a lot less. They stated that I am salary. I never sign anything stating I am salary. Plus they told me if I work over time my pay for regular hours goes down. Can they do that. The way I’ve been calculating my hours comes out less then minimum wage.

  3. Hi Gmari! File a wage complaint with the Arizona Industrial Commission. They will investigate and determine if you are being paid appropriately. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  4. What are the laws whether it be Arizona, or Federal, on ID required by us to have if someone has just moved here. By State law it is within 10 days. What is the law for employers?

  5. Hi Sylvia! Under federal law, you can and must accept a valid state-issued driver’s license from any state for I-9 purposes. If an employee is relocating from Texas, and presents an unexpired Texas driver’s license with a social security card for the I-9, that is sufficient. This is true, even if it has been more than 10 days since the employee moved. Generally speaking, you cannot dictate what documents you will accept from an employee for I-9 purposes. The employee can submit any of the documents listed on the I-9 form to prove identity and authorization to work, such as a passport, green card, state I.D. card, etc. (Exception: If the employer is using E-Verify, the employer can require a social security card for that purpose.) A driver’s license or state I.D. from any of the 50 states is acceptable.

    Obviously, if the employee’s responsibilities include driving, you will need to see a valid Arizona driver’s license before putting the employee to work. However, you cannot require that for other employees.

    Although Arizona’s immigration law has received a lot of news coverage, it basically requires that the employer have an I-9 on each employee and use E-Verify or a similar system for new employees. You should also keep a copy of the supporting documents for the I-9. Arizona law prohibits an employer from knowingly hiring illegal aliens. As long as the employee passes E-Verify, and the drivers license appears genuine, you have complied with that requirement. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~Amelia

    Read more about this at: http://www.azcommerce.com/BusAsst/SmallBiz/SBS/J1/Ja.htm

  6. My name is Vanessa,
    i was working for a company for a little bit over a year, this employer always paid me late, and although i did have a problem with her always paying late it was fine with me because it would only be 2-4 days late. I stopped working for this lady up until 2 months ago, and she still has NOT paid my last two time sheets. what can i do?????

  7. My wife works in a retail store full time. She has been having problems with her back and her feet. She went to her doctors and had her to check on these problems. The doctor told my wife she has arthritis in her back and that this is causing the problems with her feet.The doctor gave her a note to only work 35 hours a week. My wifes supervisor said that she read the note and said that my wife would either have to work 20 hours a week , plus lose her insurance, or work 40 hours a week. To me this sounds like an ultimatum and what I would like to know is this is legal?

  8. Hi Ray! Okay, first of all, it is entirely legal for the manager to give your wife an ultimatum. Employers give ultimatums all the time, like “If you don’t come to work, you don’t get paid” or “If you can’t show up before noon, you can’t work here.”

    However, the good news is that your wife may be entitled to a modified work schedule. In early 2009, the federal EEOC expanded the definition of a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to include arthritis and many other conditions. The ADA applies to employers with 15 or more workers. That law requires that an employer make reasonable accommodations for an employee with a permanent disability. However, the employee has to request the accommodation — the employer does not have to offer it.

    Your wife should go back to the employer and say, “I have a permanent disability, and under the ADA I am requesting the accommodation of working 35 hours per week instead of 40 hours per week.” (It might also be helpful to make the request in writing, date it and keep a copy.) Your wife should use exactly those words, so there is no misunderstanding. She may be required to submit documentation from her doctor that she has a disability. If she is refused this accommodation, she should go to her manager’s boss or the HR department. A reduction in work hours is one of the most common accommodations under ADA.

    An employer can refuse an ADA accommodation that is an undue hardship, but it is hard to see how this is an undue hardship. If the employer refuses or your wife has other problems with them, she can consult the federal EEOC at http://www.eeoc.gov about disability discrimination. Feel free to post any additional questions you might have, this can be a complex topic. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  9. I was working at a hotel here in town that was going through a remodel and had the parking lot being resealed, well we got all the vehicales out of the area and had a motorcycle that we could not locate the owner to have it moved so we were asked to move it about 10 feet to an area that wasnt being sealed, while in the process there was a couple of items that supposedly got broke and we left a note for the owner to let him know. The owner finally got back with us and told us that the cost of the repair was going to be about threehundred and eighty some odd dollars to repair. well when the hotel owners let me go they said that they will get me a check pending the cost of the repairs. My question is can they do that ? we moved the cycle because we told to move it. Thier insurance should pay for it correct ? and if they do take it out of my final paycheck do i have a legal leg to stand on to recoupe what they take ?

  10. Hi James! We agree with you, that this was a very bad situation. First of all, the employer should have notified guests in advance so they could move their own vehicles. Second, as you noted, if the employers asked you to move a motorcycle, they should have accepted responsibility for any damages. Whether or not the owners’ insurance pays for it is immaterial. It’s not your responsibility, it’s theirs.

    Like most states, Arizona severely limits the deductions an employer can make from the employee’s wages. They can make this deduction only if you have given written consent for them to do so — and they can’t delay paying you the wages you are owed. You must be paid for all hours you have worked, on the next payday. We suggest that you file a wage complaint with the Industrial Commission of Arizona at http://www.ica.state.az.us/Labor/Labor_WagClm_main.aspx. They will investigate and if they find the employer has not paid you for all hours worked, they will force the employer to pay. If necessary, they will even file a lawsuit to force the employer to pay you.

    You should also file for unemployment benefits. HTH, and thanks fo reading the blogs!~Amelia

  11. How much information can an employer give to another employer when wanting to hire someone who has either quit, or been fired from our agency? Is there a law or would we be held liable for telling new employer of like ill repute, or moral perpetuate. Or something that is detrimental to new employer. Only if it was based on truth and able to show liability of such person.

  12. Hi Sylvia! In many states, employers have successfully been sued for millions of dollars for giving out negative references on former employees. This is true, even if the information was accurate. So yes, if you choose to share this information you are liable.

    Even if an employee stole money from your company, and was convicted of it in court, it would probably be unwise for you to reveal that information to someone calling for a reference. This is even more true in cases of “ill repute” or moral turpitude, which are often unproved or a matter of personal opinion.

    This is why the overwhelming majority of employers will give only a positive reference. If that is not warranted, they will give only a neutral reference. The usual response is “I can only verify dates employed and salary history.” Then the new employer gives you the information they have and you say, “Yes, that is accurate” or “No, that is not accurate” but no more information is provided.

    Many companies will also disclose whether or not the employee is considered rehirable, but that is as far as they will go.

    Sometimes, in cases where the information is extremely negative, the former employer may say, “On the advice of our attorney, I cannot disclose any more information on this person.” If you repeat this phrase two or three times in response to questions, the prospective employer is likely to get the idea that this employee is bad news. However, even saying this much is risky for you as an employer.

    One good thing about the Internet, Facebook, etc. is that it makes it much easier for the employer to dig up negative information on a prospective employee, without relying solely on references. Any employer should be leery of hiring someone without good references. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  13. Can an employee ask for their employment records in Arizona status? We have not this happen, but are making new rules for 2011. And need an answer.
    Thank you so much find your blog very, very informative.

  14. Hi again Sylvia! An employee can ask for anything, including a diamond ring and a million dollars. However, there is no law that a private employer in Arizona must provide the employee with a copy of the personnel file, or even allow the employee to look at his or her personnel file. These are business records that belong to the employer. If the employee provides a subpoena, the employer must release the files. (Employees who work for the State of Arizona are entitled to see their personnel files, and some union contracts also grant that right.)

    The best practice is to provide an employee with a copy of any disciplinary notices or employee evaluation at the time. It is then up to the employee to maintain these records.

    Several states do require that employees be given copies of their personnel records if requested, but Arizona is not one of them.

    Thanks for the kind words on the blog! You may also find our sister site at http://www.humanresourceblog.com useful. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  15. do you answer any question’s ? or due simpley refer everone to your sister site. very unhelpful web site.

  16. Hi george! Actually, we’re glad you asked that! There was a point in the history of this website when it was our official policy to refer employee questions to our sister site. However, we have been answering questions from readers, in detail, every day for several years. Did you have a question you wanted to ask? ~ Amelia

  17. If an employee, has given you notice of resignation, and is not within the parameters of leaving notice, like she is leaving with only one week notice, not two per policy. And we have given her a Christmas bonus, is there a way to recoup the bonus, seeing how she knew she was quitting anyway. Like taking the bonus amount out of her last paycheck, or something like that. Don’t want to sound mean spirited, but this lady has caused a lot of problems. Thank you

  18. Hi Sylvia! Unfortunately, no, taking the bonus back is not lawful in Arizona. We agree that this employee is treating you poorly. However, theoretically, she earned the bonus by beng a good employee in the past year. The bonus was not an advance on salary or a bribe to guarantee good performance in the future. In most states including Arizona, you are still responsible for paying the employee’s wages for time worked in the final week.

    For the future, you could create a written company policy that if an employee quits within 3 months after receiving a bonus, the bonus is treated like an advance on wages and deducted from the paycheck. However, you should consult an attorney before doing so.

    It might also be helpful to have an exit interview (in person, on the phone or via email) by an HR person or someone who did not work with her every day. This behavior by an employee suggests taht she is “getting even” for what she sees as a slight, and it might be constructive to understand the underlying issue. (Of course, the employee may simply be extremely selfish.)

    The best tactic is simply to act in an honorable way towards this employee, even if she is not acting in an honorable way towards you. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  19. There has been a problem with two employee’s that have cause us concern. We are under Federal, State, and other agencies to not disclose information about the population we serve. These two individuals, even after signing a confidentiality form, have chosen to get in touch with patients after they have either been terminated, or quit. We in general know what to do with professionals who are licensed and take action with board members about their ethics. One is going for a Master Degree, to get licensed. In the meantime, because they signed the confidentiality form which states they cannot contact any of our patients once leaving the agency under whatever circumstances. Do you feel we should contact a lawyer or contact these people and remind them of the form they agreed to sign, and still in effect.

  20. Hi Sylvia! You don’t say exactly what your concern is regarding the contact. If it could be in any way harmful for the patients to have continued contact with ex-employees, then we would say yes, have an attorney contact them. You may also want to routinely review this policy with employees and during the exit interview. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~Amelia

  21. Hi. Im a driver for a moving company and some questions and don’t know where to turn. They charge us for claims to the goods as well as on equipment that is poorly maintained. Also for uniforms and any overhead they see from their customers. I’m a company driver and they are making me pay for fuel. I get a fuel surcharge but not all of it. They take money out of every check to cover the claims that I will never get back. I never gave them permission nor did I sign anything. Is this legal?

  22. Hi Dan! We wonder if you are even an employee. Most long distance drivers are independent contractors (1099 workers) which means they are not employees and are not protected by most employment laws. If you are an independent contractor, they can deduct almost anything from your wages, as long as it was agreed to in your original contract with them.

    If you are genuinely an employee (paid by the hour rather than the job) then you should contact the U.S. Department of Labor at http://www.dol.gov or the Industrial Commission of Arizona at http://www.ica.state.az.us/ for more specific answers to your questions. Either way, the long-term solution may be to find a better employer. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  23. We have an employee who called in sick, she has a disability, and also works and collects disability. She said the Dr. told her she cannot go back to work for one month. This would put a bind on our business, as we need this type of person. Woud it go against State or Federal laws, to let her go and hire someone who can work, because of the need we have.

  24. Hi Sylvia! Under some circumstances, you may be able to fire this employee, but you should exercise caution here. The employee apparently has a disability under ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act. That law requires the employer to make reasonable accommodations for an employee with a disabilty. In many cases, unpaid time off is a reasonable accommodation. An employee is covered by ADA from the first day of employment.

    An employer is not required to make any accommodation under ADA that is an undue hardship for the employer. Usually that is a financial decision. For example, installing a $300,000 elevator would be an undue hardship for many small employers, but not for a large company like Microsoft or IBM.

    In your case, it might very well be a reasonable accommodation to give this employee a month off, unpaid. Even if it is more expensive for you to hire a temporary worker (or one from a temp agency) to cover this position for a few weeks, that may not be enough to meet the legal definition of an undue hardship. Another accommodation might be to cross-train an employee and pay him or her overtime to fill in for this position. Again, both of those would be considered reasonable accommodations even though they cost the company more money.

    If this position was vacant for several weeks in the past, it is going to be difficult or impossible for you to show that allowing the employee to take a month off is an undue hardship. It is not uncommon for an employee to be granted several months off as a reasonable accomodation.

    However, sometimes unpaid leave can be an undue hardship for the employer. If the employee has unique skills that would be difficult or impossible to replace (especially if the company is very small) then unpaid time off may be an undue hardship. Right now, we cannot think of any examples, but it is possible. You may want to consult an attorney specializing in employment law or the EEOC before terminating this employee. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

    Read more about unpaid leave as a reasonable accommodation under ADA at: http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/accommodation.html#leave and more about accommodations at http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/accommodation.html

  25. We do have another handicapped person working for us right now, besides the one that is hospitalized. We knew of some of her disabilities, but this certain one she made no mention of. It would put a hardship on us to not rehire someone for her position. We need to have patients seen and counseled. Mandates by the State and Federal licenses that we are licensed by have a necessity for us to follow up on patients being seen. There is currently no one in our office to work as a overtime or considered applicable to take her place. We would have to hire someone. We have done nothing wrong in any place as far as hiring handicapped or making our office handicapped ready. But this puts us in a position of not having a person to cover this position and the needs of the office. Hiring a temp is out of the question, because of the special needs we have in training such a person would take a good three months to do. I just know that this is something we have to address right away.

  26. Hi Sylvia! Thanks for the update! In that case, because the job requires specialized knowledge and extensive training, and you are under government mandates to provide services, it may be that allowing the unpaid time off would be an undue hardship for your organization.

    Just a reminder — there is no obligation for an applicant to reveal her disabilities before being hired. If she did, it would be illegal discrimination for you to consider them as a factor in the selection process.

    Just playing devil’s advocate for a moment, you seem to be fairly certain you can rehire someone for this position. What would keep you from offering that person a temporary position? If you are under federal mandates to provide services, it probably is not wise to have only one employee who is able to do so. (What happens if that employee gets sick? Goes on vacation? Takes maternity leave?) Even though many companies run with lean staffing today, it is unwise to have a critical position with no backup available. If you fire this employee, and she files a discrimination complaint with the EEOC, these are the kinds of questions they will ask. But if you feel you have a strong rebuttal, fire away! HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~Amelia

  27. I worked for a Temp Agency (in Phoenix, AZ) and after quitting did not receive my final paycheck; which was due to me November 26, 2010. After leaving voice messages and emails with every supervisor / member of HR that I could call; I just got that check in the mail today, Saturday, March 5, 2011.

    What are my legal rights concerning this situation and pressuring the company into issuing a valid paycheck, as it is now void since 90 days have passed since it was printed?

  28. Hi VCKasten! This situation has already gone on way too long. You are entitled to payment for all the hours you worked, under both the federal and Arizona minimum wage laws. Arizona wage payment laws require that you be paid your final paycheck on the next payday or within 3 working days, whichever is sooner, if you were fired. If you quit, you were due payment on the next regular payday. An employer who issues an expired check (or an invalid check) has not satisfied this requirement.

    Contact the employer and explain that the check you received is no longer valid. Tactfully request another check. It might be wiser for you to pick up the new check, if possible, to avoid delivery problems. If that is not possible, give the employer the correct address for delivery. Tell the empoyer you would prefer not to take this matter to the Arizona Labor Commission, but you will if necessary. You will probably have to relinquish the old check in order to receive the new one.

    If the employer refuses, or if you do not have a valid paycheck in your hands within two weeks, file a wage complaint with the Arizona Labor Commissioner at http://www.ica.state.az.us/Labor/Labor_main.aspx. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

    Read more about this at: http://www.ica.state.az.us/Labor/Labor_WagClm_FAQs_Wage_Payment_Laws.aspx

  29. My fiancé was in the hospital recently for another blood clot in his leg, they put him back on Coumadin. Well the other day he had a allergic reaction (I guess) to the meds. Around 3 PM he got to the point where he could not move his arms or legs and was extremely tired. He tried for hours to see if it would go away but it just got worse. Well, he called off work after his start time because he was going to the ER. The new manager who is trying to turn the store around, wrote him up. He said in the write up it actually said that he called off work for being at the ER.

    Now my question: I know Arizona is a right to work state, but can he actually be written up for that????

  30. Hi Katherine! Can your fiancé be written up for taking a day off to go to the ER? That depends.

    If the employer has 50 or more employees within 75 miles, then your fiancé is probably entitled to unpaid, job-protected leave under the federal FMLA for a serious health condition. Usually a condition that results in 3 days of incapacity, surgery, overnight hospitalization or multiple visits to the doctor with ongoing prescription medication is a serious health condition. An employee is entitled to up to 12 weeks of FMLA per year, and it need not be taken all at once.

    Unfortunately, there is no Arizona family leave law that applies to smaller employers. Each employer establishes their own expectations regarding the number of sick days an employee can take. An employee who takes more days off work, even with the best reason in the world, can be disciplined or terminated for non-attendance (or absenteeism.)

    Under FMLA, an employee is required to follow the same call-in procedures as for any other absence. If the employer requires that workers call 2 hours before the scheduled shift, an employee on FMLA can be required to do so, also. In this case, it was fairly obvious before the shift that your fiancé would not be reporting to work. It is usually impossible to work if you cannot move your arms or legs. So your fiancé should have phoned his manager before the shift started, or had you phone for him. Even if he were entitled to FMLA, he could be written up for not following company policy to report an absence prior to the start of the shift.

    If your fiancé is terminated for excessive absenteeism due to medical issues, he may qualify for unemployment benefits. If he has a permanent disability, he may qualify for unpaid time off as a reasonable accommodation under ADA, the Americans with Disabilites Act. However, in most cases he would still have to call before the shift to say that he will not be there. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  31. has anyone delt with the labor board here they have been working on my case for 15 months now we only get 25% of whats owed because the contractor we worked for went under it was a federal job and theY held a bond worth 1.2 million now they say they had to get it from the primary contractor AND THE ONLY WILL PAY 25% OF WHATS OWED WHEN I TALK TO THEM “WAGE AND HOURLY DIVISION ” THEY WONT TELL ME ANYTHING EXCEPT THAT THEY HAVE THE MONEY AND ITS A PROCESS SOONER OR LATER ILL GET IT I HAVE NOT RECEIVED EVEN A SIMPLE LETTER FROM THEM AND I REALLY FEEL SCAMMED THEY TOOK A HUGE BOND WHERE DID THAT MONEY GO I FEEL THAT SOMETHING CRIMINAL IS GOING ON

  32. Hi Chris! It sounds like you got a bum deal, and you have our sympathy. Unfortunately, when a company goes out of business, even the state or federal department of labor cannot “get blood out of a turnip”, as the old saying goes. If the employer was still operating, they could be required to pay back wages. If you feel that the money from the employer’s surety bond has been misued or embezzled, you could hire an attorney to sue the employer. Or, you could try to interest a newspaper in the story. You might be able to file a complaint with the state Attorney General or the U.S. Department of JusticeHTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  33. If by the State or Federal laws for labor laws, we have a employee who has been summoned by a patients lawyer for her to testify on her behalf. When this does happen who is responsible for the employee being off, are we responsible for her wages when she is off testifying or is that on the part of the lawyer?

  34. Hi again Sylvia! If the employee were testifying on the employer’s behalf, or as part of her normal job duties, then it would be appropriate for you to pay her. However, in this case it sounds like her testimony is outside her normal job duties, and she is being called as a witness about a private matter that does not relate to you as an employer. In that case, she should be given the day off to testify, but you are not responsible for paying her wages for the day. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  35. We have in the past week did a budget assessment. We have to lay off or fire which ever fits a person who is on vacation. I will notify him by phone. We do not want this person getting anymore pay, we as a company can’t afford to give. Are there any laws that prohibit this type of firing. It has happen to me years ago.

  36. How often can an employee change their tax deductions? A single employee, I have an employee who wants to change their tax deduction only for a week

  37. Hi Sylvia! Unfortunately, we are shutting down the comments section of this blog. Our staff will continue to respond to questions or concerns posted as comments on http://www.humanresourceblog.com. You can post your question or comment there. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

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