Friday, December 30, 2011

Arizona's Minimum Wage Increases January 1, 2012

On January 1, 2012, Arizona’s minimum wage will increase by 30 cents to $7.65 per hour. Arizona’s minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour.

In 2006, Arizona voters enacted a voter initiative, known originally as the “Raise the Minimum Wage for Working Arizonans Act” (the “Arizona Minimum Wage Act”). The Arizona Minimum Wage Act, which became effective January 1, 2007, established an Arizona minimum wage and also provided that the minimum wage was subject to an annual increase based on the increase in the cost of living. The cost of living is measured by the federal Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, U.S. City Average, for all items during the 12 months ending each August 31. Pursuant to the authority granted by this law, the Industrial Commission reviewed the cost of living information and determined that Arizona’s minimum wage would be increased for calendar year 2011. In October 2011, the Industrial Commission of Arizona determined that the state’s hourly wage should increase based on a 3.8 percent increase in the federal Consumer Price Index this year.

Under federal law, a state may require a minimum wage that exceeds the federal wage. If there is a difference between the laws, the employer must follow the requirement that is the most beneficial to the employee. Thus, an Arizona employer that is subject to both the federal and state laws must pay the Arizona minimum wage rate. Further, Arizona employers must make sure they are in compliance with both the federal and the state laws. Our labor and employment attorneys can answer questions regarding the laws and regulations, and advise you on compliance issues. As you review your individual compliance, some further information regarding the Arizona Minimum Wage Act and regulations may be helpful.


The Arizona Minimum Wage Act provides only a few exceptions from its coverage. One exception is for small businesses that generate less than $500,000 in gross annual revenue, if that small business is not covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). From a practical standpoint, most employers are subject to the FLSA. Another exception applies to the state of Arizona and the U.S. government. Additionally, the Arizona Minimum Wage Act does not apply to any person who is employed by a parent or a sibling, or who is employed performing babysitting services in the employer’s home on a casual basis.

Each case a business or individual may face is unique and may require legal advice. If you would like additional information regarding the content of this article, please contact the author, Janet Hutchison, or the Chair of our Labor and Employment Department, John Egbert.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Jennings, Strouss & Salmon Expands Phoenix Office with the Addition of Kami M. Hoskins

PHOENIX, Ariz. (November 30, 2011) - Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, PLC, a leading Phoenix-based law firm, is pleased to announce that Kami M. Hoskins has joined the firm as a bankruptcy associate in the Phoenix office.

"Kami is an excellent addition to our commercial bankruptcy group as she brings to us experience well beyond her years of law practice. Her previous skills in business and management and with people give her an advantage in dealing with clients and in her presentations to the Bankruptcy Court," stated Carolyn J. Johnsen, Chair of the firm's Business Restructuring and Reorganization department.

Hoskins will focus her practice in the areas of bankruptcy, commercial litigation and employment law, representing corporate, small business and individual clients by implementing effective resolutions to complex legal issues. Her experience includes the representation of an international technology firm involving a complex intellectual property dispute related to Chapter 7 bankruptcy; representation of both buyers and seller in litigation matters related to real estate purchases; and the representation of a Fortune 500 corporation in defense against an EEOC charge.

"This is an outstanding opportunity," stated Hoskins. "Jennings, Strouss & Salmon is an Arizona institution, and I am thrilled to be part of the team."

Hoskins earned a J.D. from the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law, an M.A from Arizona State University, and a B.A from the University of Arizona. She serves as Chair of the State Bar of Arizona Mentor Committee and is a member of the State Bar of Arizona Committee for Minorities and Women in Law. She currently resides in Glendale, Arizona.