Employment Law

Business Driven, Employee Focused

When you start a business, you think about the product or service you are offering and the customers you hope to attract. When you think about employees, you think about hiring, salaries, and benefits.  Most business start-ups do not think they could be the subject of an employment lawsuit because you do not intend to break any laws. The problem is that employment law is complex.

Legislatures and agencies issue new statutes and regulations changing existing employment rules. Courts re-interpret these statutes and regulations, changing the meaning of the rules. This continual flux, combined with damages that can result from non-compliance, necessitates an on-going focus on these legal issues.

We work with clients to establish employment practices that comply with:

  • Arizona minimum wage and overtime pay regulations.
  • Arizona vacation, jury duty voting, sick-time, and holiday leave regulations.
  • Arizona Acts governing workers compensation, employee termination, non-compete restrictions, and drug testing.
  • Federal Acts governing employee / independent contractor classifications, and authorizing aliens to work in the U.S.
  • Federal Acts governing illness and maternity leave, military leave, and early warning of layoffs and plant closings.

We work with clients to establish employment procedures covering:

  • Employee health, dental, vision and retirement benefits.
  • Pre-employment and random employee drug testing.
  • Employee termination procedures and policies.
  • Employee personal leave, sick leave, maternity leave and military leave.
  • Minimum wage and overtime pay, employment age restrictions.
  • Employee privacy and social media use.
  • Unemployment and workers compensation benefits.
  • Effective, efficient and expeditious employment dispute resolution.

A further discussion of these employment matters is provided in the Employment Section of the Blog.

Employment Services Provided

Our Arizona employment lawyers assist clients in resolving legal matters posed by the employment practices of their small businesses. Although our firm’s headquarters are located in Phoenix, we serve clients throughout the entire state, including Tucson. Moreover, our Arizona Employment Lawyers assist small businesses in the surrounding Phoenix and Tucson areas with employment disputes when employees contest the terms of their employment. Our assistance for clients includes:

  • Establishing guidelines for determining employee / independent contractor classifications for workforce members. Creating Employment Contracts / Independent Contractor Agreements that outline the relationship between an individual and the business; defining the duration, benefits, compensation, and grounds for termination, and specific issues including who owns work products produced while on the clock.
  • Creating Non-Compete, Non-Solicitation, and Confidentiality procedures protecting the company from circumstances that could cause harm. These arrangements prevent an employee from competing in the company’s markets, poaching the company’s customers or other employees, and disclosing confidential information. These arrangements must meet certain parameters to be declared valid, such as a provision that limits the time in which this restriction would apply to a reasonable length of time.
  • Drafting an Employee-Handbook that defines the company’s culture, sets expectations for employees, and informs them of their rights under the law. The handbook defines the company’s processes and procedures for hiring and separation, wages and overtime, promotions and performance reviews, medical and parental leave, conduct and discipline, discrimination and harassment, trade secrets and confidentiality, and fringe benefits.  Following the procedures in your employee handbook protects you if you get into a dispute with a current or former employee. The Calhoun Law Firm, PLC, ensures that your policy does not violate family leave, overtime, final salary pay-out, and occupational health and safety regulations and statues. Additionally, we check for wording that may impose unintentional obligations on your business.
  • Developing and conducting training programs for both supervisory and nonsupervisory employees based on the policies adopted.  Typical areas of focus include wage and hour compliance, performance management, harassment prevention, addressing substance abuse in the workplace, interviewing and hiring, and ensuring equal employment opportunity compliance.

Our Arizona Employment attorneys provide legal counsel to small business clients located in Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Scottsdale, Peoria, and Tempe on matters pertaining to employment.

Employment Contracts / Agreements

Our firm has drafted and reviewed numerous types of employment contracts / agreements including:

  • Employment Contracts specifying the rights and obligations of full time and salaried employees.
  • Independent Contractor Agreements enlisting the services of independent contractors to complete specific projects or tasks.
  • Noncompete Agreements preventing former employees or business partners from competing against the business.
  • Non-Solicitation Agreements prohibiting employees or contractor’s from targeting customers or employees following employment.
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements requiring the recipient of proprietary information to hold that information in strict confidence, and use the information for the stated purpose.

A further discussion of each employment contract / agreements is provided in the Contracts Section of the Blog.

Employment Regulation Compliance

Compliance with federal, state and local employment-related statutes begins by developing and documenting compliant practices.  Areas to account for include complying with wage and hour regulations, establishing confidentiality and trade secret programs, complying with health and safety regulations, establishing drug and alcohol testing policies, handling employee misconduct, and protecting employee privacy interests at the workplace.  Our firm has addressed numerous types of federal and state employee and independent contractors labor regulations including:

  • Wage and hour regulations impose standards that require employers to pay non-exempt workers no less than minimum wage and 1.5 times their normal wage for overtime.
  • Workplace safety and health regulations requiring employers to provide their employees with work and a workplace free from serious hazards. OSHA regulations are enforced through workplace inspections and investigations.
  • Equal opportunity regulations mandating that employers must not allow gender, race, religion, age, and disability to influence hiring practices.
  • Non-US citizen workers regulations mandating that employers must verify that their employees have permission to work legally in the United States.
  • Employee Benefit Security Regulations requiring companies offering pension or welfare benefits to comply with fiduciary, disclosure, and reporting requirements.
  • Union Regulations requiring businesses with union employees to file reports and handle relations with union members in specific ways.
  • Family and Medical Leave Act Regulations requiring employers to provide 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to employees for the birth or adoption of a child, or for the serious illness of the employee or a spouse, child, or parent.
  • Poster Regulations requiring notices to be shared or posted in the workplace for employees’ view (for example, alcohol warnings and hand-washing reminders).
  • Privacy Regulations detailing how employers must save and secure sensitive employee personal information and outlining an employer’s rights to monitor their business operations and employees.
  • Insurance Regulations obligating employers to purchase workers compensation insurance protecting the business and the employee if an on-the-job accident occurs.

Employment Dispute Representation

Employer / employee disputes can expose you to financial loss and unnecessary liability.  In responses to Employee Lawsuits, Claims, and Complaints we determine the strength of an employee’s claim, prepare a response to the charge, handle agency investigations, and present evidence and argument at hearing.  These situations require immediate action to ensure that your rights are protected and that evidence that can be used in court or at a hearing is preserved.  Our firm has represented clients in numerous types of administrative agency investigations and employment-related disputes including:

  • Restrictive Covenant Disputes arise when upon an employee’s departure they carry away clients, other employees, or inside knowledge used to compete with their ex-employer in violation of the restrictive covenant clause in their employment contract or services agreement. These clauses are enforceable against the ex-employee when designed to protect the ex-employer’s legitimate business interests and extend no further than is reasonably necessary to protect those interests.
  • Although Arizona is an at-will employment state, Wrongful Termination Disputes can arise when an employer is accused of breaching an employment contract or violating certain discrimination or retaliation laws.
  • Wage Disputes arise when an employer fails to comply with minimum wage or overtime pay guidelines. Employee vs. independent contractor misclassification is another source of wage disputes.
  • Workplace Discrimination Disputes arise when an employer treats an employee in an unfavorable way based on their race, sex, pregnancy, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, or genetic information. Retaliating against the complaining employee is another source of disputes.
  • A Workers’ Compensation Claim Dispute arises when it is unknown if the worker was injured in the workplace and when unnecessary treatment is given.

A further discussion of each employment dispute is provided in the Dispute Resolution Section of the Blog.

Contacting The Calhoun Law Firm, PLC

If our capabilities match your needs, we invite you to contact us today by one of these means:

  • Call us at 877-455-6344 to evaluate our capabilities to address your situation.
  • Submit an inquiry via our Contact Us Form to brief your situation and needs.
  • Schedule a 45-minute legal Consultation via our client portal to review your situation and potential approaches by which your objectives can be met.

Our Employment Attorneys are experts in handling the legal matters that Phoenix and Tucson area clients address during the course of hiring, managing, and terminating employees. Moreover, our Employment Lawyers assist clients with employment disputes when employees contest the terms of their employment. Small businesses operating in Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Scottsdale, Peoria, and Tempe, as well as residents of other adjacent communities, are regular recipients of legal counsel and representation from our firm.