Q: Does my employer have to give me a written contract?
A: Most employers do not have to give you a written contract. Many employment contracts are oral.
Q: How and why can I be ﬁred?
A: If you do not have a written employment contract, your employer can ﬁre you at any time for no reason. There are exceptions – an employer may not ﬁre you or discriminate against you because of your race, national origin, sex, color, disability, religion, etc. (ARS §41-1463), or because you complain about the employer to a government agency, serve on a jury, exercise your voting rights or assert your protected legal rights (ARS §23-1501). The Cities of Phoenix and Tucson also protect from discrimination based on marital status and sexual orientation.
Q: Whom should I contact if I think I have been discriminated against?
A: There are several agencies that can help:
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Phoenix District Ofﬁce
(800) 669-4000 or (602) 640-5000
Arizona Civil Rights Division of the Attorney General’s Ofﬁce,
Phoenix (877) 491-5742, Tucson (877) 491-5740
Q: What rights to sick days and vacation days do I have?
A: Only those you and your employer agree to in a contract or those provided in a collective bargaining agreement.
Q: Does my employer have to give me a warning before ﬁring me?
A: No. Not unless the employer agreed to do so.
Q: What if my employer failed to pay me?
A: Depending on the amount of money owed, you can either ﬁle a wage claim with the Industrial Commission of Arizona, Department of Labor, or you can ﬁle a lawsuit against your employer to recover your wages (ARS §§23-355-356).
Q: What is Workers’ Comp all about? I thought that was some kind of insurance.
A: It is. Workers’ Compensation is insurance your employer pays to provide compensation and medical insurance to you in case of an injury on the job. This insurance will also protect you in case you develop an occupational disease or sustain an injury as a result of your job. But remember, it is not meant to take the place of your own personal insurance plans.
Laws may have changed since the last time this article was updated. The current and most up-to-date laws can be accessed here.