2017 Arizona Revised Statutes
Title 23 - Labor
§ 23-364 Enforcement

Universal Citation: AZ Rev Stat § 23-364 (2017)

23-364. Enforcement

(Caution: 1998 Prop. 105 applies)

A. The commission is authorized to enforce and implement this article and may promulgate regulations consistent with this article to do so. For purposes of this section: (1) " article shall mean both article 8 and article 8.1 of this chapter; (2) " earned paid sick time" is as defined in section 23-371, Arizona Revised Statutes; (3) " employer" shall refer to the definition of employer in section 23-362, Arizona Revised Statutes, for purposes of minimum wage enforcement and shall refer to the definition of employer in section 23-371, Arizona Revised Statutes, for purposes of earned paid sick time enforcement; and (4) " retaliation" shall mean denial of any right guaranteed under article 8 and article 8.1 of this chapter and any threat, discharge, suspension, demotion, reduction of hours, or any other adverse action against an employee for the exercise of any right guaranteed herein including any sanctions against an employee who is the recipient of public benefits for rights guaranteed herein. Retaliation shall also include interference with or punishment for in any manner participating in or assisting an investigation, proceeding or hearing under this article.

B. No employer or other person shall discriminate or subject any person to retaliation for asserting any claim or right under this article, for assisting any other person in doing so, or for informing any person about their rights. Taking adverse action against a person within ninety days of a person's engaging in the foregoing activities shall raise a presumption that such action was retaliation, which may be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence that such action was taken for other permissible reasons.

C. Any person or organization may file an administrative complaint with the commission charging that an employer has violated this article as to any employee or other person. When the commission receives a complaint, the commission may review records regarding all employees at the employer's worksite in order to protect the identity of any employee identified in the complaint and to determine whether a pattern of violations has occurred. The name of any employee identified in a complaint to the commission shall be kept confidential as long as possible. Where the commission determines that an employee's name must be disclosed in order to investigate a complaint further, it may so do only with the employee's consent.

D. Employers shall post notices in the workplace, in such format specified by the commission, notifying employees of their rights under this article. Employers shall provide their business name, address, and telephone number in writing to employees upon hire. Employers shall maintain payroll records showing the hours worked for each day worked, and the wages and earned paid sick time paid to all employees for a period of four years. Failure to do so shall raise a rebuttable presumption that the employer did not pay the required minimum wage rate or earned paid sick time. The commission may by regulation reduce or waive the recordkeeping and posting requirements herein for any categories of small employers whom it finds would be unreasonably burdened by such requirements. Employers shall permit the commission or a law enforcement officer to inspect and copy payroll or other business records, shall permit them to interview employees away from the worksite, and shall not hinder any investigation. Such information provided shall keep confidential except as is required to prosecute violations of this article. Employers shall permit an employee or his or her designated representative to inspect and copy payroll records pertaining to that employee.

E. A civil action to enforce this article may be maintained in a court of competent jurisdiction by a law enforcement officer or by any private party injured by a violation of this article.

F. Any employer who violates recordkeeping, posting, or other requirements that the commission may establish under this article shall be subject to a civil penalty of at least $250 dollars for a first violation, and at least $1000 dollars for each subsequent or willful violation and may, if the commission or court determines appropriate, be subject to special monitoring and inspections.

G. Any employer who fails to pay the wages or earned paid sick time required under this article shall be required to pay the employee the balance of the wages or earned paid sick time owed, including interest thereon, and an additional amount equal to twice the underpaid wages or earned paid sick time. Any employer who retaliates against an employee or other person in violation of this article shall be required to pay the employee an amount set by the commission or a court sufficient to compensate the employee and deter future violations, but not less than one hundred fifty dollars for each day that the violation continued or until legal judgment is final. The commission and the courts shall have the authority to order payment of such unpaid wages, unpaid earned sick time, other amounts, and civil penalties and to order any other appropriate legal or equitable relief for violations of this article. Civil penalties shall be retained by the agency that recovered them and used to finance activities to enforce this article. A prevailing plaintiff shall be entitled to reasonable attorney's fees and costs of suit.

H. A civil action to enforce this article may be commenced no later than two years after a violation last occurs, or three years in the case of a willful violation, and may encompass all violations that occurred as part of a continuing course of employer conduct regardless of their date. The statute of limitations shall be tolled during any investigation of an employer by the commission or other law enforcement officer, but such investigation shall not bar a person from bringing a civil action under this article. No verbal or written agreement or employment contract may waive any rights under this article.

I. The legislature may by statute raise the minimum wage established under this article, extend coverage, or increase penalties. A county, city, or town may by ordinance regulate minimum wages and benefits within its geographic boundaries but may not provide for a minimum wage lower than that prescribed in this article. State agencies, counties, cities, towns and other political subdivisions of the state may consider violations of this article in determining whether employers may receive or renew public contracts, financial assistance or licenses. This article shall be liberally construed in favor of its purposes and shall not limit the authority of the legislature or any other body to adopt any law or policy that requires payment of higher or supplemental wages or benefits, or that extends such protections to employers or employees not covered by this article.

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