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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: Must an employer give you sick time?

A: Yes. An employer must give you one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked however; the total amount of time that may be earned is limited by how many people are employed at your work. Employers with fewer than 15 people are not entitled to more than 24 hours a year while employers with more than 15 employees are entitled to 40 hours of paid sick time (A.R.S. §23-372). A company may offer more time if it chooses but is not required to do so.


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.