If an employee gives a three week notice, are we obligated to pay him three weeks of pay, if we want him to leave sooner?

If Arizona is an “at-will” state, do we need to pay or honor the three week notice. We do not have a policy yet on how to handle this.

A: Assuming there is no written contract, you can terminate the employee immediately. There are a few exceptions to this rule, and there are some important things to remember about how to terminate someone so as to minimize the risk of a later legal dispute. So I would suggest that you counsel with an employment attorney before pulling the trigger.

* This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the State of Arizona only. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. You should not rely on this advice alone, and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.

Published By:

Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C.
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Office: 480-655-7440
Fax: 480-655-7099

Answered by
Re-posted from AVVO Legal Questions & Answers.

I am being denied unemployment benefits for “misconduct – violating company policy”.

I was fired for performing a VOID which caused some problems. I never found out if I did something wrong or if there was a problem in the software. I was denied unemployment benefits for “misconduct – violating company policy” for performing the VOID. I appealed this decision because there were never any company policies in place, plus I had performed VOIDs many times in the past and was never told it was against any policy. I think an employee would have to be made aware of company policy via handbook or signed letter or past consultation. The review board denied my appeal.

Do I have any recourse? I have one last chance to appeal this decision but think that I need some kind of legal example for it to hold any weight.

I have read through the Employment Security Law for Arizona and the Arizona Administrative Code and both either state or suggest that it must be determined that an employee knows, or should know, the company policy in question. This could not be determined (by the employer’s statement alone) since there was no policy notice and I had performed several VOIDS in the past with no objection from the employer. I stated these objections at the hearing, where the employer admitted that there was no policy handbook, and in my appeal but I was still denied benefits based on violating company policy.

Every point the AZDES gives for denial I can rubut, however, I need to know how to appeal in a manner that they cannot just disregard. I think I understand the AZ employment laws, which can be relative to interpretation, but how can I find precedence to argue my case?

A: It’s hard to give a definitive answer without more information about the procedural posture of your case. However, most likely your appeal is going to be “on paper” only, and you will have to make legal arguments based on the evidence that has already been given. You should carefully review the regulations on HOW to file your appeal, since it is frequently the case that non-lawyers get tripped up by procedures. It might not be a bad idea to have a lawyer look at your case to see where it is procedurally and what your strengths and weaknesses are. Since you lost at the lower level, there must be some weaknesses that you will need to be aware of. Our firm does handle these cases, but often the cost for a full representation is too high based upon the possible outcome. A quick review and analysis (which we also do) might be your best option.

* This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the State of Arizona only. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. You should not rely on this advice alone, and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.

Published By:

Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C.
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Office: 480-655-7440
Fax: 480-655-7099

Answered by Arizona Employment Lawyer
Re-posted from AVVO Legal Questions & Answers.

Training Sub-Contractors

We hire sub contractors and give them a 2 hour training. Are we required to pay them for the training?

A: Assuming that they are really sub-contractors and not employees, you are authorized to require them to be trained in order to get other work. However, the distinction between sub-contractors and employees is a tricky one, and I find that my clients sometimes think that they can treat someone as a sub-contractor when in fact that person is an employee. If the person is an employee for legal purposes (even if you call them a sub-contractor), then you will be required to follow the law regarding paying employees for work–including probably the requirement to pay minimum wage for their two hours of training.

* This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the State of Arizona only. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. You should not rely on this advice alone, and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.

Published By:

Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C.
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Office: 480-655-7440
Fax: 480-655-7099

Answered by Arizona Employment Lawyer
Re-posted from AVVO Legal Questions & Answers.

Is a verbal employment that has been standing for more than three years be arbitrarily changed to include a contingency?

Q: I answered a job ad specifying a salary of $40,000 per year, accepted the job at that salary and now 3-1/2 years later the employer wishes to change the compensation to match whatever amount we receive through a contract with another party, which is less than $40,000. Can I challenge that? Is a verbal employment agreement a valid contract?

A: In Arizona a verbal employment contract is “at will,” which means that either party can terminate it at any time. Most likely the employer can therefore lower your pay if the employer wants to. Your only recourse would be to quit and find another job.

* This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the State of Arizona only. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. You should not rely on this advice alone, and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.

Published By:

Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C.
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Office: 480-655-7440
Fax: 480-655-7099

Answered by
Re-posted from AVVO Legal Questions & Answers.