United States: Effective April 1, 2022: Tucson, Arizona Minimum Wage Ordinance
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This is no April Fool’s Day joke – tomorrow the Tucson Minimum Wage Law (the “Law”), also known as Proposition 206, goes into effect. The law increases the minimum wage to $13.00 per hour for all employees (full-time, part-time, temporary, and those hired through an employment or placement agency) who perform at least five hours of work per week within the city limits of Tucson. The minimum wage is set to increase to $13.50 by January 1, 2023, $14.25 by January 1, 2024, and $15.00 by January 1, 2025, followed by additional adjustments each January, depending on inflation.
However, Tucson employers should be aware that the law does more than just raise the Tucson minimum wage. The law contains many other provisions that will affect Tucson employers. Some highlights:
- The law creates a municipal department of labor standards, responsible for implementing and enforcing the law.
- “Hours of work” under the Act specifically includes:
- The time during which an employer requires the employee to submit to a security screening immediately before or after a shift;
- The time during which an employer requires the employee to be on the employer’s premises or at a prescribed workplace; and
- Time during which an employer requires the employee to be connected and actively attentive to a computer program, phone application or similar device provided by the employer.
- Under the Act, a worker is generally presumed to be an employee unless the employer can establish that:
- The worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity regarding the performance of the work;
- The worker performs work that is outside the normal scope of the activities of the hiring entity; and
- The worker is usually engaged in an independently established trade, occupation or business of the same nature as the hiring entity.
- The law prohibits employers from requiring payment of wages to be made using a cash card, reloadable debit card, or similar method that requires the employee to have a Social Security number valid (some argue that this requirement may conflict with federal regulations and state law).
- “Large Employers” – defined as employers with an average of at least 26 employees (including part-time, temporary, and employees located out of town) in the last quarter of the preceding calendar year – must pay employees at least three hours of minimum wage compensation when:
- The employee is expected to work at least three hours, reports to work on a timely basis and is able to work the full shift, and the employer engages the employee for less than three hours; Where
- The employee must work at least three hours and the employer cancels the employee’s shift with less than 24 hours’ notice.
- Like Arizona’s wage laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act, the law generally prohibits employers from making deductions from employees’ wages, if those deductions result in the employee receiving less than salary. minimum.
- The law prohibits retaliation against employees for exercising their rights under the law. Further, if an employer takes adverse action against an employee within 90 days of the employee exercising their rights under the Act, such conduct creates a rebuttable presumption that the adverse action was reprisals. Notably, “adverse action” is defined to include actions such as not rehiring after a seasonal hiatus and changing an employee’s status to that of an independent contractor.
The above is a general summary of some of the main requirements of the Act. It is very possible that the law will be challenged on federal and state constitutional or other grounds. Tucson employers may wish to consult an attorney for additional guidance.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.
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