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 verbal.


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 any reason. However, there are exceptions - an employer may not fire you or discriminate against you because of your race, national origin, sex, color, disability, or religion (A.R.S. §41-1463). They may also not fire you because you complain about the employer to a government agency, serve on a jury, exercise your voting rights, or assert your protected legal rights (A.R.S. §23-1501). The cities of Phoenix (Phoenix City Code, Chapter 18, Article 1) and Tucson (City of Tucson Code, Chapter 17) also protect from discrimination based on marital status and sexual orientation.


Q: Whom should I contact if I think I have been discriminated against?

AThere are several agencies that can help, including the:

  • 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 or Tucson: (877) 491-5740


Q: Does my employer have to give me a warning before firing me?

A: No. Not unless the employer agreed to do so.


Q: Must an employer give me 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: 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 (A.R.S. §23-355 - A.R.S. §23-356).


Q: What is Workers’ Compensation?

A: 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. However, 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.