Arizona Overtime and Wage Laws

While Arizona state wage laws follow federal law in many respects, state laws are more favorable to workers than federal laws in several areas including, providing a higher minimum wage, an extended statute of limitations for minimum wage violations, and the potential for employees to recover triple damages on claims for unpaid back overtime wages (federal law allows for double damages).

Minimum Wage Regulations in Arizona

In November 2016, Proposition 206 was passed increasing the Arizona minimum wage to $10 per hour effective January 1, 2017.  It continues to increase as noted below until January 1, 2021, when it will be adjusted for the cost of living.

  • 2014      $ 7.90
  • 2015      $ 8.05
  • 2016      $ 8.05
  • 2017      $10.00
  • 2018      $10.50
  • 2019      $11.00
  • 2020      $12.00
  • 2021      $12.15
  • 2022      $12.80

When an employer claims a tip credit, it may pay up to $3.00 per hour less than minimum wage to employees who customarily and regularly receive tips, as long as the tips plus wage is not less than the minimum wage. The following classes of individuals are not subject to Arizona’s minimum wage:

  • Employees who work for a parent or sibling
  • Employees who provide babysitting services in the employer’s home on a casual basis
  • Employees employed by the government of the United States or by the State of Arizona

City of Flagstaff Minimum Wage

On January 1, 2018, the minimum wage in the city of Flagstaff increased to $11 per hour. It will increase to $12 in 2019, $13 in 2020, $15 (or $2 above the state minimum wage) in 2021, $15.50 (or $2 above the state minimum wage) in 2022, and be adjusted thereafter based on the consumer price index.

City of Tucson Minimum Wage

Per a ballot initiative approved on November 2, 2021, the minimum wage in the city of Tucson will gradually increase to $15 per hour by 2025 and then increase based on the rate of inflation after 2025.  Tucson’s minimum wage will be $13.00 per hour as of April 1, 2022; $13.50 as of January 1, 2023; $14.25 as of January 1, 2024; and $15 as of January 1, 2020.

Overtime Regulations

Arizona overtime laws follow the Federal law. Employers must pay all non-exempt employees overtime pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek at one and a half the employee’s regular wage.

Are You Owed Back Overtime Wages?

Specific Exemptions from the Overtime Requirement

If an exemption from the overtime requirement is met by an employee under Arizona overtime laws, his or her employer does not have to pay overtime. The most common exemptions to the overtime pay requirement are usually for:

  • Drivers
  • Farmworkers
  • Partsmen and mechanics
  • Administrative employees
  • Executive employees
  • Professional employees

While salaried Administrative, Executive, and Professional employees can be exempt under federal law, they are not exempt from the Arizona minimum wage regulations. This means these employees must be paid a salary that equates to at least minimum wage for all hours worked. This could result in a higher salary requirement than federal law. For example, as of 2018, the Arizona minimum wage was $10.50/hour. If an Administrative, Executive, or Professional employee was required to work at least 50 hours per week, their salary would have to be at least $525/week which would be higher than the 2018 federal salary requirement of $455*/week.

* The Department of Labor under the Obama Administration increased this salary amount to $913 per week effective 12/1/2016; however, this increase was blocked by a court ruling. Instead, the Trump Administration only increased the salary amount to $684 per week effective 1/1/2020. Please see this page for the latest updates.

Holidays / Vacation / Sick Leave

According to Arizona labor laws, employees may work on weekends or holidays without receiving additional pay. Employers are also not required to offer holiday or vacation paid time off. Because these policies are at the discretion of the employer, a “use-it-or-lose-it” vacation policies requiring employees to use vacation days by a set date or lose them is permissible, so long as the employee has a reasonable time to use the vacation.

In November 2016, Arizona passed the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act which requires employers provide paid sick leave.

Arizona employers with 15 or more employees must allow employees to accrue up to 40 hours of earned paid sick time per year at a rate of 1 hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Employers with fewer than 15 employees must allow employees to accrue up to 24 hours paid sick time at a rate of 1 hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked.

Meal Breaks / Rest Periods

Arizona labor laws do not regulate or require employee breaks or lunch periods. However, if breaks are given, employers must follow the Federal requirement that when breaks of 20 minutes or less are given, they must be paid. If the employee is relieved of all duties, meal breaks of 30 minutes or more may be unpaid.

Jury Duty

Employers are not required to pay employees while complying with a jury summons or serving on a jury, but the employees may not be discharged for these reasons. Employers may not require employees to use vacation or sick leave to comply with a jury summons. Further, employees may not lose seniority while serving on a jury.

Reporting Time Pay

Neither Arizona nor the Federal law requires payment if an employee reports to work expecting to work for a certain number of hours but does not get to work their full schedule.

Pay Periods

Under Arizona law, all Arizona-based employers must pay their employees at least twice per month, no more than 16 days apart. If a payday falls on a holiday, the employer must pay the employee prior to the scheduled payday.

Severance Pay

Arizona does not require employers to provide severance pay, but discharged employees must receive all due wages within three working days or by the end of the next pay period, whichever is sooner. Employees who quit must be paid all due wages by the next payday.


Arizona does not address specifically types of deductions that may be taken but the FLSA states that deductions cannot reduce an employee’s wage below minimum for items such as shortages, uniforms, trade tools, or damaged goods.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations under Federal Law provides that overtime claims can be made for the prior 2 years, or 3 years if the violation is willful.

Under Arizona’s wage law, employees must file a lawsuit to enforce their:

  • Overtime pay rights no later than 1 year after a violation in order to recover treble damages (3x backpay)
  • Minimum wage rights no later than two years after a violation last occurs, or three years in the case of a willful violation, and the claim may encompass all violations that occurred as part of a continuing course of employer conduct regardless of their date. 

State Law Remedies / Penalties

The remedies provided by Arizona labor law for both overtime pay violations and minimum wage violations can be more favorable to workers than federal law (as detailed above), giving them the right to recover up to triple damages for overtime pay violations and permitting claims for minimum wage violations to go back more than 2-3 years where there is a continuing course of conduct.

The remedies under Federal law for overtime violations are also available in Arizona. In most cases, a plaintiff is entitled to an award of liquidated damages equal to the amount of unpaid overtime, meaning its possible to receive two times the amount of unpaid overtime. A successful plaintiff can also be awarded attorney’s fees and expenses.

Contact The Lore Law Firm and to receive more information and a free review your specific circumstances. You can also submit your information using our case-evaluation-form.

Frequently Asked Questions

In terms of job security, it may matter if you did not get your employer’s authorization or prior approval before working overtime. If your company has a stated policy regarding seeking prior authorization for overtime, you may be subject to disciplinary action for failing to follow it. However, this does not impact the legality of paying you. Whether you received approval or not, your company must pay you for any overtime you worked.

In Arizona, any hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour workweek is considered overtime and must be paid at 1.5 times your regular wage. This requirement adheres to federal labor laws governing overtime.

Some job types are typically exempt from overtime, including: 

    • Administrative employees
    • Mechanics
    • Farmworkers
    • Executive-level employees
    • Drivers

Those who are exempt from overtime must be paid a salary that equals minimum wage for all hours worked. So, for instance, if minimum wage in Arizona is $10.50 and an executive-level staff member is required to work 50 hours a week in their salaried position, they must be making at least $525 weekly.

Working weekends or holidays in Arizona does not automatically mean you will be paid overtime. Your working hours must surpass 40 in the course of one workweek to qualify for overtime. If you are working weekends or holidays, but had other days off during the workweek, your hours would remain at 40 despite the specific days you worked.

When an employer violates your overtime pay rights in Arizona, you need time to hire an Arizona overtime pay attorney and work on filing a claim. If you file within a year of the violation, you stand a better chance of recovering the highest amount of damages. State law, however, gives you up to three years in some instances to file, with two years being standard.

Client Reviews


A situation that involves attorneys is emotional - Mike Lore is an attentive listener and really helped me come to the terms of my situation. He used his understanding of the law to construct a case that was grounded in fact and skipped the needless 'finger-pointing' and 'he-said/she-said' back and forth. Mike's professionalism with me (the client) and the opposing attorney moved the case forward quickly with a successful result.

- E.S.


After talking to HR and trying to find answers to my questions about the overtime laws online, I was so confused. I contacted the firm and spoke to Stacy. She was so nice and took the time to review my pay stubs. She explained what the law requires and how it applied to my job. Turns out I do not have a case. Even though I didn’t have a case, she sent me a follow up email with even more information. So glad I called them.

- P.A.


We live in another state, but my husband's company sent him to work in Texas for 6 months. With the laws being completely different from our home state, it was nice to speak to a professional that could put us at ease and explain the laws to us.

- D.E.

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