Exempt Employee Rights

Employee Rights

Employee Rights

In 2017, Arizona employees enjoyed an increase to the state's minimum wage thanks to the passage of the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act in November of 2016.

This relatively new law will steadily increase the state's minimum wage by $.50 each year until reaching $12 an hour in 2020.

For 2018, Arizona workers receiving minimum wage will earn $10.50 per hour of work.

Since Arizona has no state laws on overtime or minimum wage exemptions, however, an Arizona employee's ability to receive this increased pay is based on federal law pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

It is this federal law that provides for two separate categories of statutory exemptions.

The first category pertains to exemptions from both the federal minimum wage requirements as well as overtime requirements.

The second category of exemptions apply solely to "overtime only" exemptions.

Understanding the full scope and extent of exempt employee rights in Arizona requires a closer look at both of these essential categories of statutory exemptions.

Minimum Wage and Overtime Exemptions

It is helpful for Arizona employees to know that the overwhelming majority of employers are required to pay employees both minimum wage and overtime, as required by federal law.

According to Section 213(a) of the FLSA, however, some employee categories are exempt from receiving both minimum wage and overtime.

Commonly, administrative employees, executives and highly compensated professionals will be exempt from FLSA overtime and minimum wage.

As a general rule, employees who are salaried or compensated by fee basis and who earn no less than $455 per week will be exempt from federal minimum wage and overtime law if the employee regularly performs at least one of the duties of:

  • An exempt executive

  • An exempt administrative employee

  • An exempt professional employee

Other common employee categories that are exempt from federal minimum wage and overtime law include:

  • Computer employees

  • Creative professional employees

  • Outside salespersons

  • Teaching professional employees

There are many other less common minimum wage and overtime exemptions that may apply, which is why it is always in your best interests to discuss your minimum wage or overtime legal concerns with an Arizona employment lawyer.

Overtime Only Exemptions

Unlike exempt categories that apply to both minimum wage and overtime, some Arizona employees may be exempt solely from federal overtime law.

These exempt professionals cannot be paid overtime, but employers are still required to pay these professionals minimum wage.

Some professions that are generally exempt from receiving overtime pay include:

  • Rail and motor carriers

  • Produce workers

  • Taxi drivers

  • Fire and law enforcement professionals

  • Criminal investigators

Each exempt professional has its own requirements that must be met, so be sure to talk with an Arizona employment attorney if you are unsure whether you are truly exempt from receiving overtime pay.

Employee Rights of Non-Exempt Arizona Employees

Again, it is worth stating that the typical Arizona employee is considered "non-exempt" from federal laws on minimum wage and overtime.

Effectively, this simply means that an employer must pay you the state of Arizona's minimum wage, and working more than 40 hours per week will entitle a non-exempt employee to receive overtime pay under federal law.

If a non-exempt employee works less than 40 hours in a week, however, the employer will not be required to pay overtime, regardless of whether the employee works more than eight hours in a day or on a holiday.

For more information concerning Arizona or federal law on exempt employee rights, contact Tyler Allen Law Firm to discuss your AZ employment law questions and concerns.