The Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One, has ruled that the Arizona State Legislature overstepped its authority in 2016, when it prohibited Arizona cities and other municipalities from enacting their own employee benefits ordinances.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its highly-anticipated website accessibility opinion in Robles v. Domino’s Pizza, reaffirming the obligation to make retailers’ websites accessible and rejecting the due process and primary jurisdiction arguments commonly asserted by defendants in website accessibility litigation.
When Arizona’s fifty-third legislature ended last spring, we reported on four new laws that impact Arizona employers and employees. The legislature also passed two additional laws impacting Arizona employers.
In 2019, a number of states’ minimum wage rates will increase.
Winslow, Arizona, is well known to every fan of the Eagles based on the band’s hit debut single, “Take it Easy,” released in 1972. Winslow again hit the radio and news media when its city council passed Ordinance No. 1327 on November 13, 2018.
On November 6, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) applies to all states and political subdivisions—regardless of their size.
On July 24, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Munro v. University of Southern California, No. 17-55550, that an employer/fiduciary of a 401(k) plan cannot force a fiduciary breach claim under Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) section 502(a)(2) into arbitration.
Bringing at least temporary relief to hundreds of businesses operating in Arizona, the state’s presiding disciplinary judge entered an order suspending Arizona attorney Peter Strojnik from the practice of law on an indefinite basis.
Arizona’s fifty-third legislature ended in early May of 2018 while over 50,000 demonstrators protested for increased education funding at the state capitol. While the #RedForEd movement essentially ground all remaining legislative action for the 2018 session to a halt, the legislature did manage to pass 369 bills this session before its attention turned entirely to education funding. However, only four bills that substantively impact employers made it to the governor’s desk and either received his signature or were allowed to become effective after the veto deadline passed.
In 2018, the federal minimum wage will remain at $7.25 per hour for non-tipped employees and $2.13 per hour for tipped employees. The following table summarizes the statewide minimum wage increases that have been announced for 2018, along with the related changes to the maximum tip credit permitted and minimum cash wage allowed for tipped employees.
Just as one flood of lawsuits against Arizona businesses finally dries up, another downpour begins. Peter Strojnik of Phoenix, the same attorney who filed more than 1,100 lawsuits that drew the attention of the Arizona attorney general, has filed approximately 60 new lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) against motels and places of lodging in the last three months in federal court in Arizona.
“Once an employer becomes aware of the need for accommodation, that employer has a mandatory obligation under the ADA to engage in an interactive process with the employee to identify and implement appropriate reasonable accommodations.”
Can an employer’s perceived preferential treatment of an alleged rapist create a hostile work environment for the female employee who reported the rape? The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a jury should determine the answer to that question.
On June 30, 2017—the day before Arizona’s new paid sick leave law went into effect—the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) issued 18 pages of new frequently asked questions (FAQs). Some of the FAQs merely restate the draft regulations, while others provide useful examples helping to give color to draft supplemental regulations recently issued.
On June 27, 2017, the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) issued supplemental draft regulations. The supplemental regulations tweak some of the draft regulations the ICA issued on May 5, 2017. Some supplemental regulations are entirely new and help clarify several important yet unanswered questions lingering in employers’ minds.
Arizona’s new paid sick leave law—Proposition 206 or The Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act—will go into effect on July 1, 2017. Since the law passed, the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) has crafted proposed regulations and a number of frequently asked questions (FAQs). This three-part blog series examines the intricacies of the ICA’s current proposed regulations and FAQs.
Arizona’s new paid sick leave law—Proposition 206 or The Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act—will go into effect on July 1, 2017. While we previously explained key components of the law, the Act left many important questions unanswered. Since the law passed, the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) has crafted a limited set of proposed regulations, which remain subject to review and approval by the state attorney general or the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council.
Since passage last November of Proposition 206, Arizona’s new paid sick leave law, officially titled The Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act, employers have been scrambling to prepare for its implementation on July 1, 2017.
On May 15, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States rejected the City of San Gabriel, California’s attempt to overturn the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s expansive interpretation of what employers must include as “wages” when establishing the regular rate of pay to calculate overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on May 5, 2017, containing the ICA’s much-anticipated draft regulations on Arizona’s new paid sick time law, which goes into effect on July 1, 2017.
On April 27, 2017, a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated and remanded a district court’s ruling denying an employer’s motion for summary judgment on an Equal Pay Act (EPA) claim. In so doing, the court reaffirmed precedent and reinforced how an employer can use prior pay to account for a pay differential between male and female employees.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey just signed into law an amendment to the Arizonans with Disabilities Act (AzDA) designed to make it more difficult to bring lawsuits against businesses based on claims that they are not accessible to individuals with disabilities. The amendment requires potential plaintiffs to give business owners notice of alleged access violations and allows businesses 30-90 days to correct the issues before a lawsuit can be filed.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that whether a nursing staffing coordinator met the administrative exemption from federal overtime requirements is a factual issue that must be decided at trial.
Last December, I wrote about a lawsuit before the Arizona Supreme Court challenging Proposition 206, the minimum wage and paid sick time referendum that instantly raised the Arizona minimum wage to $10 per hour and created a mandatory paid sick time requirement for employers.
An Arizona judge dismissed more than 1,100 lawsuits against Arizona businesses alleging that their parking lots are not accessible to persons with disabilities. Judge David M. Talamante rejected the plaintiffs’ argument that the Arizonans with Disabilities Act (AzDA) permits any person who believes a place of public accommodation has violated the act to bring a civil action.
On January 20, 2017, the Ninth Circuit became the first court of appeals to weigh in on several important legal issues for expensive, increasingly common background check class actions—specifically (a) the extraneous content and language in an employer’s background check disclosure forms and online screens that violate the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and (b) the standing requirements to file background check claims. In Syed v. M-I, LLC, the Ninth Circuit held that (1) inclusion of a liability release in an employment background check disclosure is a willful violation of the FCRA, subjecting an employer to expensive statutory and punitive damages, and (2) this kind of violation results in a concrete harm that satisfies Article III standing, as recently clarified by the Supreme Court of the United States in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins.
Effective January 1, 2017, 29 states plus the District of Columbia will have minimum wage rates that are above the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour. The District of Columbia will continue to have, as it did last year, one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country at $11.50 per hour until July 1, 2017, and $12.50 per hour after that date. With respect to state minimum wages, Massachusetts and Washington will have the highest minimum wages at $11.00 per hour effective January 1, 2017, with California close behind at $10.50 per hour (for employers with 26 or more employees), effective January 1, 2017, and Connecticut following at $10.10 per hour, effective January 1, 2017.
In 2016, 17 states and the District of Columbia implemented increased minimum wage rates. This year, even more states are scheduled to do so.
Proposition 206, the minimum wage and paid sick time referendum that decisively passed in last month’s election with over 58 percent of votes cast, may never become effective if a newly filed lawsuit proves successful. In the meantime, the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) issued their initial FAQs in a newly-released document, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Minimum Wage and Earned Paid Sick Time designed to provide guidance for employers and employees on both the new minimum wage and the paid sick time (PST) provisions. While helpful in summarizing and organizing the law’s multiple components, the FAQs break no new ground.