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Arizona employers must pay workers a wage of no less than the required minimum as set by the Industrial Commission of Arizona. As of January 1, 2010, minimum wage in Arizona was $7.25 per hour. Minimum wage increases with the cost of living every January. Exceptions apply to employees who receive tips. Tipped employees may be paid a wage up to $3.00 an hour less than minimum wage.
Payment of Wages
Arizona employers must designate at least two paydays each month not more than 16 days apart, according to the Arizona State Legislature. Employers are required to pay employees their salary for all hours worked, including applicable overtime, on each payday. Employers are prohibited to withhold any portion of an employee's salary without the worker's written consent or as required by state or federal law. Terminated or discharged employees have the right to receive payment within three working days of the last day of employment or the end of the next pay period, whichever is sooner.
Federal labor standards define overtime as time worked above an employee's regular full-time (40-hour) schedule. Federal law requires an employer to pay employees overtime pay of at least one and a half times an employee's regular salary. Federal overtime laws apply in the state of Arizona. If an employer pays workers a higher salary for working nights or weekends, it is a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee.
Organizations who employ minors must follow specific labor requirements regarding salary and pay. In Arizona, a minor is considered a person under the age of 18. There is no distinction between adult and minor workers for the purpose of minimum wage, but labor laws vary dramatically. For example, youth workers under the age of 16 are prohibited from working in construction, laundry facilities or in the manufacturing industry. Workers under age 18 cannot work in any industry that involves radioactive substances or heavy machinery and equipment. Arizona employers must adhere to federal child labor laws regarding the number of hours a minor can work, as well as the days and times a minor can be employed.
Alabama generally does not have laws governing wage and hour practices. Employers in Alabama largely adhere to federal law, including regulations affecting salaried employees.
Minimum Salary and Exemptions
Employees in Alabama who are paid a salary and are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime pay provisions do not have to be paid overtime. This group -- which includes executive, administrative and professional employees -- must receive a minimum salary of $455 per week as of this publication. Salaried employees who are not exempt from the FLSA must receive at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour plus overtime at 1 1/2 times their regular pay rate for work hours over 40 in a week.
The FLSA does not limit the number of hours an employer may require an employee to work. Salaried-exempt employees receive a fixed amount of pay, which is not based on hours worked, though the employer may set a limit such as 45 or 50. In general, weekly salary cannot be docked if the employee performs any work at all during the week; it can only be docked for weeks in which she does no work. A salaried-nonexempt employee's pay is based on hours worked. In this case, salary can be docked if the employee does not work the required hours.
An exempt employee's salary may be deducted if permissible under the FLSA.
On-call pay is based on whether the employee can use his time freely, for his own purposes, while on call. For example, he is relieved of all duties at 6 p.m. and is waiting at home to be engaged. This employee can use his waiting time freely and does not have to be paid for being on call. Conversely, an employee who is summoned to the employer's premises and is unable to leave while on call cannot use his time freely and must be paid for being on call. A salaried-exempt employee does not have to be paid for being on call because his pay is not based on hours worked. A salaried-nonexempt employee is eligible for on-call pay.
Nonexempt employees, both salaried and hourly, in Alabama cannot be given paid time off, or compensatory time, in lieu of overtime wages. They must receive actual overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a week. Compensatory time may be granted to exempt employees.
Alabama is an at-will employment state. An employer can terminate a salaried or hourly employee for any reason, provided no federal or state law or employment contract is violated. Alabama does not have general anti-discrimination laws. For the most part, employees in the state are protected from wrongful termination -- such as breach of contract, discrimination and retaliation -- by federal law. Alabama has an age discrimination law that forbids employers with 20 or more employees from discriminating against job applicants and employees who are 40 and older.
Employees who are accidentally injured on the job may qualify for workers' compensation, which is administrated by the Alabama Department of Labor. Qualified recipients get 66 2/3 percent of their average weekly pay in workers' compensation as of this publication. An employer can keep paying an employee's salary instead of giving workers' compensation. In this case, the employer must report the injury and salary payments to the insurance company and state labor department.
Employees in Alabama may report employers that violate federal wage and hour laws to the United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division. State-regulated issues, such as workers' compensation, may be reported to the Alabama Department of Labor.