Arizona has enacted new law to expand access to unemployment benefits during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In addition, the Governor has issued “Emergency Order to Stay at Home Except for Essential Business and Services.” The state also is encouraging employers to participate in its Workshare Program.
Articles Discussing Human Resources Issues In Arizona.
The Industrial Commission of Arizona, which enforces and implements Arizona’s Paid Sick Leave law (also known as the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act), has issued guidance to employers and employees on the effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the use of paid sick leave in Arizona. The Commission’s guidance also addresses how the new federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) will affect Arizona businesses and workers.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has issued Executive Order 2020-11, making changes to the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program in order to help employees affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic obtain unemployment benefits.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey recently signed HB 2154 and HB 2311 into law, both taking effect on August 3, 2018. HB 2154 provides employers with additional guidance and updated notice procedures in the event of a data security system breach, and HB 2311 bolsters limited liability protections for employers when hiring employees or contracting with independent contractors previously convicted of criminal offenses.
Last month, South Dakota and Alabama became the final two states to enact a data breach notification law. In addition, many other states, in response to trends, heightened public awareness, and a string of large-scale data breaches, have continued amending their existing laws. Arizona is the latest state to update its data breach notification law to reflect recent trends.
On July 1, 2017, all Arizona employees became eligible to begin accruing “Paid Sick Time” benefits under the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act (“the Act”).1 For several months following the law’s enactment on November 8, 2016, the Industrial Commission of Arizona (“ICA”), the agency charged with enforcing the Act, provided little guidance on how employers must comply with the new paid sick time (“PST”) portions of the law.
On Election Day, voters in Arizona and Washington approved measures requiring employers in their respective states to provide paid sick leave and requiring employers to raise the minimum wage. They join the PSL states of California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Vermont and an ever growing patchwork of cities and counties.
Effective on August 6, 2016, Arizona law on employment relationships will allow employers contracting with an independent contractor to prove the existence of such a relationship by having the independent contractor sign a declaration. Under the new law, the execution of a declaration creates a rebuttable presumption that an independent contractor relationship exists.
On November 19, 2014, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in Orca Communications Unlimited, LLC v. Noder that the Arizona Uniform Trade Secrets Act (AUTSA) does not preempt common law tort claims for misappropriation of confidential information that does not rise to the level of trade secret information.
On October 17, 2013, in Orca Communications Unlimited v. Noder, Pitch Public Relations, the Arizona Court of Appeals held the confidentiality, non-solicitation, and non-competition provisions of an employment agreement between an employer and its former president were overly broad and unenforceable. Arizona employers should review their employment agreements to ensure language is narrowly tailored to only protect the legitimate business interests of the employer.
Striking four restrictive covenants in an employment agreement as overbroad, the Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a breach of contract claim against the president of a public relations firm who set up a business competing with her former employer. Orca Communications Unlimited, LLC v. Noder, No. 12-0183 (Ariz. Ct. App. Oct. 17, 2013). However, the Court allowed claims for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, breach of the duty of loyalty, tortious interference, and unfair competition to proceed, finding they were not preempted by the Arizona Uniform Trade Secrets Act.
An employer’s non-competition agreement with its employees was overbroad, unenforceable on its facts and could not be saved by the “blue pencil” rule, Judge Neil V. Wake of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona has ruled in an action for alleged violations of restrictive covenants and business torts. Unisource Worldwide, Inc. v. Swope, No. No. CV-12-02036-PHX-NVW, 2013 WL 4029170 (D. Ariz. Aug. 8, 2013). Noting that “Arizona law does not look kindly upon restrictive covenants,” the court, however, permitted the employer’s breach of customer and employee non-solicitation claims to proceed because additional facts were required to determine whether they were reasonable.
On December 3, 2012, an Arizona Superior Court judge issued an order holding that the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) does not preempt the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. Three days later, the first medical marijuana dispensary opened in Arizona.
On July 9, 2012, the Arizona Supreme Court handed down its decision in Engler v. Gulf Interstate Engineering, Inc. and announced that an employer may not be held vicariously liable for an after-work accident caused by an employee who was on an extended out-of-town assignment. The court found that an employee who worked for the Texas-based energy consulting company Gulf Interstate Engineering, Inc. was not acting within the scope of his employment when he struck a motorcyclist with his car.
By a margin of just 4,341 votes, Arizona voters decided to make their state the fifteenth to allow the use of medical marijuana. The “Yes” vote on Proposition 203 had trailed for nearly a week following Election Day, but made a surprising comeback as absentee and provisional ballots were counted. The measure was opposed by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and other business groups.