ARIZONA: Payroll law update, July-Dec. 2011

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Child support. Employers may be required to electronically receive child support withholding orders and medical support withholding orders. On em­­­­ployers’ consent, other state agencies may send ad­­ministrative orders electronically. (Ch. 61, L. 2011)

Minimum wages. For 2012, the inflation-adjusted minimum wage increases to $7.65 an hour, from $7.35.

Payment of wages. Beginning July 20, 2011, legislation clarifies that employees must be paid within five business days after the end of the pay period. Legislation also clarifies that employees can’t be disciplined for failing to sign up for direct deposit.

Employers may mandate payment by plastic paycard if they’ve offered employees direct deposit and employees have rejected that offer. Employees who are paid by paycard are entitled to one free withdrawal per pay period, but not more frequently than once a week. Employers must provide employees with a list of all fees associated with their paycards. Employers may furnish employees who receive their pay electronically (i.e., by direct deposit or paycard) with electronic pay statements. (Ch. 193, L. 2011)

Unless withholding is to satisfy a debt, employers cannot withhold wages under an employee’s written authorization past the date specified in the agreement. (Ch. 153, L. 2011)

For paycheck deductions made after Oct. 1, 2011, public and private employers cannot make recurring deductions from employees’ pay for political or nonpolitical purposes without their written or electronic consent. Employees excluded: Public safety em­­ployees, including peace officers, firefighters, corrections officers, probation officers and surveillance officers who are employed by the state or a political subdivision of the state. Employees must renew their consent annually. If employees have multiple deductions made from their checks after Oct. 1, 2011, employers must obtain statements from recipients indicating that the payments aren’t used for political purposes, or statements showing the maximum percentage that’s used for political purposes. The attorney general will provide model employee authorization forms.

Employees who resign membership in the organization for which deductions were authorized must notify their employers of the resignation; authorization for the deductions will then be considered rescinded. Employers have one pay period to process the rescission. A $10,000 civil fine per violation will apply to employers that knowingly make deductions without employees’ consent and to recipients who provide inaccurate statements. (Ch. 251, L. 2011)

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