Employment Law

Arizona Minimum Wage Going Up on January 1

The Arizona minimum wage is set to go to $11 an hour, up from $10.50, on January 1, a result of voters passing Proposition 206, the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act, in 2016.

minimum wageAn effort to lock in the statewide minimum at $10.50 and repeal the Act’s paid sick time requirement failed to make it out of committee in the 2018 legislature, so the new $11 minimum is set to take effect at midnight on January 1.

Rate rising to $12 in Flagstaff. The city of Flagstaff has a higher minimum than the statewide law requires. In Flagstaff, the minimum wage is set to go from $11 to $12 per hour on January 1, a result of a separate 2016 vote in that city. Whether to keep Flagstaff’s minimum wage above the statewide base rate was a controversial issue in the city’s 2018 election, but Flagstaff voters rejected Proposition 418, a measure that would have reduced the city minimum wage to the state level through January 2021, after which it would be 50 cents above the state minimum.

Groups including the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, the Flagstaff Lodging & Restaurant Association, and a nonprofit organization providing employment opportunities and job training to individuals with disabilities led the effort to pass Proposition 418. They cited concerns related to a higher cost of living, job losses, and cutbacks in services to people with disabilities.

What Employers Need to Do

The new minimum wage means employers need to change their posters for 2019. The Industrial Commission of Arizona has 2019 minimum wage and earned sick time posters available on its website in English and Spanish.

Flagstaff has established an Office of Labor Standards Division, which issues both the annual city poster as well as the required disclosure form and employee acknowledgement that employers must provide to anyone who works 25 hours or more a year within the city limits. The forms are available in English, Spanish, and Navajo.

To be ready for 2019, employers need to update pay rates for any workers earning minimum wage and make any other necessary adjustments. Also, they must have the right posters on employee bulletin boards before the first business day of the year.

Dinita L. James, a partner in the Arizona law firm Gonzalez Law, LLC, is the editor of Arizona Employment Law Letter. You can reach her at dinita.james@gnzlaw.com or 480-565-6400.