What are your basic rights as an employee?

In Arizona, you do not have the right to a job, but once you become an employee, you have quite a few basic rights. Both federal and state statutes establish these rights.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission explains that most of your employee rights come from the following federal acts:

  • Title VI Of The Civil Rights Act Of 1964
  • The Occupational Safety And Health Act Of 1970
  • Sections 504, 504 and 508 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • Title II and Title III Of The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990
  • The Family And Medical Leave Act of 1993
  • Title I of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008

In addition, The National Labor Relations Act of 1935, The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 likewise set forth a number of employee rights.

Federal employment rights

In combination with each other, these federal employee rights statutes guarantee you the following:

  • To receive equal pay for equal work
  • To remain free from harassment and/or discrimination in the workplace based on your race, color, national original, religion, gender, age or disability
  • To receive reasonable accommodation from your employer for your disability
  • To report discrimination in your workplace without fear of retaliation, such as firing, demotion, etc.
  • To expect that any medical or genetic information you share with your employer will remain confidential

Arizona employment rights

Arizona is one of the “at-will” states, meaning that either you or your employer may terminate your employment whenever desired. The Arizona Employment Protection Act, however, lists a number of exceptions to this at-will rule. For instance, your employer cannot fire you for reporting for jury duty, filing a safety complaint, filing a Workers’ Compensation claim, refusing to join a union, serving in the U.S. military or the National Guard, or using your earned sick days, personal days and/or leave time.