Arizona News & Analysis

  • Arizona becomes 48th state to ban handheld device use while driving

    The conflux of a tragedy, a patchwork of municipal regulations, and perhaps a bit of shame at being one of only three states without a statewide ban on texting while driving finally pushed a driver safety measure into law in Arizona. The law is effective immediately, but it has a long grace period. Still, Arizona employers should insist that employees who drive on their behalf for business are in compliance with the new legal requirements.

  • September 30 deadline looms for newly required EEO-1 data

    Employers required to submit EEO-1 reports to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are venturing into uncharted territory as they work to collect newly required information due by September 30. While they may be accustomed to submitting traditional EEO-1 information—data on employees' race/ethnicity and gender, or what's being called Component 1 data—this year they also must compile data on compensation and hours worked, or what's being called Component 2 data.

  • Policy manual forms the basis of employment contract

    The Arizona Employment Protection Act establishes a presumption of at-will-employment status that may be rebutted only in limited circumstances. Section 23-1501(A)(3) of the Act states the "employment relationship is severable at the pleasure of either the employee or the employer" unless there's a written contract that expressly restricts the right of either party to terminate it. Language in an employment handbook or manual could form the basis of a written contract that restricts an employer's right to terminate the employment relationship.

  • ADA claims don't have a prayer without documentation of need for extended leave

    The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeal (whose rulings apply to all Oregon employers) recently explained the scope of the "religious organization exception" to the prohibition on religious discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The court also addressed the limits of the duty to accommodate under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Let's take a look.

  • You've been served with a writ of garnishment ― what now?

    It's happened. You've received a writ of garnishment and summons directing you to garnish the wages of an employee. As the entity garnishing the judgment debtor's (aka the employee's) wages, you are responsible for navigating the process without error, or you risk liability for monetary penalties up to the full amount of the judgment.

  • Don't fear the side gig

    As you're scrolling through your e-mail, you notice a LinkedIn notification that one of your top performers has added a new job. Before you send out the bat signal to the recruitment team, you should read this article.

  • Police officer's PTSD claim compensable years after triggering event

    A workers' compensation claim in Arizona must be filed within one year after the injury occurred or "the right thereto accrued." The right to compensation accrues when the injured employee recognizes the nature of his injury, its seriousness, and the probable causal relationship between the injury and his employment. For injuries that aren't obvious immediately, determining when the right to compensation accrued can be difficult for employers and their insurance carriers, as a recent case involving a Chandler police officer demonstrates.

  • Postshift security screenings compensable under Arizona law, but not federal law

    The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires covered employers to pay employees minimum wage for all hours they work each workweek. The Arizona Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act and its governing regulations likewise require employers to pay minimum wage, again using the number of hours worked in a workweek to determine whether the minimum wage threshold is met. That all sounds pretty simple when the laws align. But consider that Arizona has set its current minimum wage at $11 per hour, which is significantly higher than the $7.25 per hour federal minimum wage. Employers should be aware that the rate more favorable to the employee governs.

  • 9th Circuit: FCRA disclosure notice can't contain anything not required by law

    When an employer wants to obtain a credit or criminal background report on a prospective employee from a credit reporting agency, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires it to provide a specific written notice to the applicant (and obtain her consent). In a recent decision, the 9th Circuit concluded that an employer's FCRA notice was invalid because it included more information than the Act required.

  • 'Boss, you can't say that—it's retaliation'

    When a federal jury in a retaliation case hands a $1.5 million verdict to a Phoenix police sergeant, the case gets my attention. The April 10, 2019, verdict made headlines in the Arizona Republic, where the lawyer for Sergeant Jeffrey Green extolled the "big and worthwhile victory."