Phoenix Wage & Hour Violations Lawyers
Getting appropriately paid is one of the most important features of any job. If an employer does not pay you according to the terms of your employment agreement or fails to pay you all you are owed, you can file a complaint with the government to recover your wages and damages. And hiring one of our Phoenix wage and hour violations attorneys with decades of experience can help ensure that you receive every cent you have earned for your hard work.
Failure to Pay Wages
The most cut-and-dry wage issue facing a lot of workers is an employer’s failure to pay them. Not only does your employer need to pay your agreed-upon wages, but your employer must also pay you on time. If your employer pays you late or not at all, it could be subject to stiff legal penalties for its failures.
Many Arizona employers must designate at least two fixed days a month (not more than 16 days apart) to pay employee wages. And an employer whose principal place of business and payroll system is outside of this state can designate one fixed payday per month for employees with certain positions. If you are missing a paycheck or have had to endure untimely paychecks, our experienced Phoenix unpaid wages lawyers can enforce your rights.
Unpaid Wages and Overtime
A common problem that crops up in workplaces across the nation is whether an employee is receiving at least minimum wage and proper pay for their overtime hours. The minimum wage in Arizona was $12.80 per hour in 2022 and increased to $13.85 per hour at the beginning of 2023. And if a non-expempt employee has worked more than 40 hours in a workweek, they must be paid at least 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for any time worked over 40 hours.
Keep in mind that the standards we mentioned above are minimum standards. If your employer agrees to pay you more than minimum wage or more overtime than legally mandated, your employer must honor that agreement. You should regularly review your paychecks so you can spot inadequacies early and rectify them swiftly with the help of one of our Phoenix unpaid wages attorneys or unpaid overtime lawyers.
Overtime Class Action
If you are entitled to overtime pay that you have not received, you can initiate legal action against your employer. And if your employer has neglected to pay you and other employees their overtime wages, you can all join together in an overtime class action suit.
A class action suit allows you to combine resources with coworkers who have suffered from the same misconduct with their wages. This joining of forces can strengthen your arguments before the court and increase your chances of winning your case. Our skilled unpaid overtime attorneys at Shields Petitti & Zoldan can effectively champion the rights to overtime pay for you and your colleagues.
A sneakier way that employers unlawfully shortchange their employees is by misclassifying them as independent contractors. If someone who works for an employer is an independent contractor, the employer does not have to pay them minimum wage, overtime, or workers’ compensation benefits. But just because an employer says their worker is an independent contractor does not make it so.
Regardless of whether your boss calls you an independent contractor, you may be an employee if the following characteristics apply to your job:
- Your boss provides the tools and supplies for your work,
- The work you perform for your boss is a key aspect of its business,
- Your boss has the right to control what work you do and how you do it, and
- Your boss determines how you are paid.
One of our Phoenix wage and hour violations lawyers can determine whether you were wrongfully denied employee benefits and file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor. Employers who misclassify their employees can be subject to orders to provide back pay and liquidated damages to the misclassified individuals.
Your employer may make your commission payments seem like frivolous tokens of its appreciation. But Arizona law includes commissions in its definition of wages. If your employer does not timely pay you the commission you are owed, that constitutes a failure to pay wages and is a violation of the law.
Unpaid Last Paycheck
And what happens if you quit your job or are terminated? An employee who quits must receive their last paycheck on the next regular payday. And employees who are terminated or laid off must receive their last paycheck within seven working days or at the end of the next regular pay period (whichever is sooner). If your former employer does not abide by these rules, it could be guilty of a petty offense.
Withholding of Wages
Does an employer ever have the right to withhold your wages? Yes, but only in limited circumstances. An employer can hold back part of your paycheck if one of the following scenarios applies:
- You gave your employer written authorization to withhold funds from your pay,
- There is a good-faith and reasonable dispute regarding the amount of wages owed to you, or
- Federal or state law empowered or required your employer to withhold paycheck funds (e.g., taxes or child support).
But do not let your employer take advantage of these allowances. If a withholding is larger than what you authorized, what the government allowed, or the basis of a dispute, that is still a violation.
Unpaid Sick Leave
In Arizona, you have a right to paid sick leave. If your employer has 15 or more employees, you must receive at least one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours you work until you hit the limit of 40 hours of sick leave per year. And if your employer has fewer than 15 employees, you must receive at least one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours you work until you hit the limit of 24 hours of sick leave in a year. Of its own volition, an employer can agree to give you more sick leave and must abide by its agreement.
Filing a Complaint
If your employer has violated one of the above-mentioned legal obligations, you have a right to take legal action. You can file a complaint with the Industrial Commission of Arizona, or you can complain to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. You have two years to file a federal complaint if your employer’s violation was not willful and three years to file if the violation was willful. If you want to file a state complaint, you have one year to do so.
Let Our Phoenix Wage & Hour Violations Attorneys Fight for You
When your wages and benefits are on the line, having an advocate with decades of experience handle your battles is one of the best decisions you can make. At Shields Petitti & Zoldan, our wage and hour attorneys have more than 50 years of combined experience, and we fight aggressively for employee rights. Our experienced team can expertly handle the most complex wage and hour disputes. We have also recovered millions on behalf of our clients. Give us a call or contact us online if you need help.
Our employment lawyers are also able to assist you with the following cases:
- Arbitration and Mediation
- Business Contract
- Constructive Discharge
- Employee Advocacy
- Employer Counseling
- Employment Litigation
- Hostile Work Environment
- Medical & Disability Leave
- Sexual Harassment
- Small Business Consulting
- Workplace Discrimination
- Workplace Retaliation
- Wrongful Termination