Arizona Petitions U.S. Supreme Court to Review S.B. 1070

August 11, 2011 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

By Dinita L. James

Following through on the strategy announced in April, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer filed a petition yesterday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the lower court decisions blocking implementation of key provisions of S.B. 1070, Arizona’s tough immigration law.

A federal district judge in Arizona blocked four provisions of the law, formally known as the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, from taking effect in July 2010. The injunction allowed certain aspects of the law to go into effect but blocked other provisions, including one making it a crime for an illegal immigrant to solicit, apply for, or perform any work in the state.

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Employers Whose Employees Work in California Are Subject to State Overtime Laws

July 06, 2011 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

By Chris McFadden

CaliforniaEmployers that require workers to travel to and work within California may be subject to the state’s overtime laws even though their employees are nonresidents. The California Supreme Court decided last week that the California Labor Code applies to the overtime claims of three nonresident instructors who performed work within the state. The employees, who worked for Oracle, worked mainly in their home states (Arizona and Colorado) but were required to travel to California as part of their positions. The instructors alleged that Oracle’s failure to pay overtime for work performed in California was a violation of the state’s Labor Code as well as an unlawful business act under the state’s unfair competition law.

The court determined that California’s overtime law applies to all work performed in the state in excess of eight hours in one workday and 40 hours in one workweek regardless of the employee’s place of residence. The court noted that the state’s overtime laws were designed to serve important public-policy goals such as protecting the health and safety of employees from “the evils associated with overwork” and providing an incentive to spread employment to a greater number of individuals. These policies would not be served by excluding nonresidents from the state’s overtime laws. In addition, any extra burden on employers as a result of complying with California’s overtime laws would be incidental. The court held that the state’s overtime laws don’t apply to work performed outside California.

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Supreme Court: Arizona Immigration Law That Targets Businesses Is Valid

May 27, 2011 - by: Jessica Webb-Ayer 0 COMMENTS

U.S. Supreme Court BuildingThursday, May 26, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Legal Arizona Workers Act (Act), an Arizona employment law that allows the state to sanction employers that knowingly or intentionally employ “unauthorized aliens.” The first provision of the Act punishes certain employers that hire unauthorized aliens by suspending or revoking their business licenses. The second provision requires employers to check the immigration status of new employees through E-Verify, a federal online employment verification program.

The Chamber of Commerce of the United States, along with several business and civil rights organizations (collectively, Chamber), filed a federal lawsuit against the individuals tasked with administering the Act. The Chamber argued that federal immigration law preempted the two provisions of the Act. The district court determined that federal law didn’t preempt the Act because the law imposed licensing conditions only on businesses operating within the state and the U.S. Congress hadn’t expressed the intent to prevent states from requiring employers to use E-Verify. The Ninth U.S. Circuit  Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s decision.

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Six States Increase Indexed Minimum Wages for 2011

December 27, 2010 - by: Holly Jones 0 COMMENTS

As the new year approaches, a number of states will see index-driven increases to their minimum wage rates. Specifically, Arizona, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington will each add around 10 cents per hour to their existing wage rates, based on an increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of a little more than one percent from August 2009 to August 2010. Two other states, Florida and Missouri, have chosen not to adjust their indexed wages.

In Arizona, the state minimum wage will increase from $7.25 to $7.35 per hour and will remain at that rate throughout the next year. Tipped employees’ hourly wages also will increase 10 cents, from $4.25 to $4.35. The new minimum wage must be posted in an area where employees can read the poster, such as the break room.

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Arizona Voters Approve Medical Marijuana

November 17, 2010 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

By Dinita L. James, Gonzalez Law, LLC

By a slim margin, Arizona has become the 15th state in the nation to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Proposition 203, or the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, trailed by about 6,000 votes in early election night returns. Yet, after 10 days of counting early voter and provisional ballots, the final, though still unofficial, tally has put the yes votes ahead by a mere 4,341 votes out of the nearly 1.7 million cast.

The passage of Proposition 203 will bring significant changes to Arizona employers by spring of 2011, as the Act creates a new protected status for employees and applicants in the workplace — that of the registered medical marijuana ID cardholder. The new law specifically prohibits discrimination based on cardholder status, which includes not only marijuana-using patients but also their caregivers and dispensary agents. Further, employers will need to revisit existing drug-testing policies.

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Categories: Arizona

Arizona: Employment Legislation Pushed Aside

November 04, 2010 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

by Dinita L. James, Ford & Harrison LLP

Arizona voters surfed the national Republican wave, flip-flopping the party affiliation of its U.S. House delegation, putting every statewide office in Republican hands, and likely giving the GOP a supermajority in the Arizona Legislature when final vote tallies are in.

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Arizona Voters Pass Health Care Choice Measure

November 04, 2010 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

by David I. Weissman, Ford & Harrison LLP

Arizona voters resoundingly said “no thank you” to federal health care reform legislation on Election Day, voting in favor of Arizona Proposition 106 by a fairly significant margin. Proposition 106 amends the Arizona Constitution by: read more…

Arizona Medical Marijuana Vote Too Close to Call

November 03, 2010 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

By Dinita L. James

As of Thursday morning, the outcome of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act remains too close to call. The no votes on Proposition 203 outnumbered the yes votes at one point late this morning by a slim 6,700-vote margin, with three precinct results incomplete and an unknown number of early voting ballots not yet counted.

One of the areas where precinct results were incomplete was Pima County, home to Tucson, one of the state’s more liberal areas, where incomplete results showed about 57 percent yes votes for Proposition 203. Early voting ballots received too close to Election Day likely will decide the race, and they may not be counted for several days.

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Four Arizona Ballot Measures of Interest to Employers

November 01, 2010 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

By Chris McFadden

As a reminder, tomorrow will be your opportunity to make a difference in Arizona by heading to the polls! Four measures on the ballot may be of particular interest to employers.

  • Proposition 113 (secret ballot): If passed, this measure would guarantee the right to vote by secret ballot in union representation elections.
  • Proposition 203 (medical marijuana): This measure aims to allow seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana. If passed, employers will need to review their drug-testing policies, consider Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation concerns, and analyze workplace safety implications.
  • Proposition 106 (health care): A yes vote would prohibit any rules that force state residents to participate in a health care program.
  • Proposition 107 (affirmative action): If passed, this measure would ban affirmative action programs in public employment and education.

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Controversial LAWA Upheld by Ninth Circuit

September 22, 2008 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the controversial Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA). Under the LAWA, which took effect January 1, 2008, a business found guilty of “knowingly” or “intentionally” hiring undocumented workers faces suspension or revocation of its business license and is placed on probationary status for a period of time. LAWA also requires employers to use the controversial federal E-Verify system to check employees’ work authorization status.

The suit was filed by a coalition of business and immigrant rights groups, including Chicanos por la Causa Inc., the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform.

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Categories: Arizona

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