Summary (Read the official ballot language)
At the November 2021 General Election, Tucson voters approved Proposition 206, "The Tucson Minimum Wage Act". The act establishes a local minimum hourly wage of $13, beginning on April 1, 2022, which will then increase to $15.00 an hour by Jan. 1, 2025. Thereafter it will increase annually based on the Consumer Price Index, and rising automatically to match any higher federal or state minimum wage.
The City of Tucson minimum wage will adjust according to the schedule here:
- $13.00 by April 1, 2022
$13.50by January 1, 2023 (This will now be $13.85 in accordance with A.R.S 23-363(B))
- $14.25 by January 1, 2024
- $15.00 by January 1, 2025
- Thereafter, the minimum wage may increase each January, to the nearest $0.05, depending on the rate of inflation, and will be announced no later than November 1 of the previous year. A higher state or federal minimum wage will supersede these rates.
TheTucson’s Minimum Wage Act applies to full-time, part-time, or temporary employees who perform at least 5 hours of work per pay cycle within the City of Tucson’s* boundaries.
* The Act does not apply to employees of the State of Arizona, the United States, and tribal entities.
Employee/Employer Education and Enforcement of the Act
The City of Tucson, as directed by the passage of the Tucson Minimum Wage Act, is establishing the Labor Standards Unit (LSU) within the Business Services Department. The new unit's purpose will be to receive complaints from aggrieved individuals and interested parties, initiate investigations of employers and hiring entities, initiate enforcement actions, periodically conduct studies of the City’s low-wage workers for the purpose of guiding the department’s targeted enforcement efforts, educate employers of their obligations, and educate employees of their rights.
The LSU can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and via phone at
Report Concern or File a Complaint
The first step to filing a minimum wage complaint with the City of Tucson is to complete and submit an online Complaint Declaration Form to the Labor Standards Unit. Complaints can also be filed electronically via e-mail, email@example.com, or sent in by mail, or made in person, at the following address:
City of Tucson Labor Standards Unit
Public Works, 201 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85701
Online employer video training sessions will are posted at the City of Tucson YouTube Channel and available via these links:
Employer Resources - Poster Language Updated 4/1/2022
MapTucson GIS page - Check here if you are unsure if your business is in the City
What employees does the Act apply to?
- The Act applies to all employees, whether full-time, part-time, or temporary, who perform at least five hours of work within Tucson’s geographic boundaries.
- Employers may take a tip credit of no more than $3.00 for “tipped employees,” whose definition essentially matches that found under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
- Casual employees who perform babysitting services at an employer’s home are excluded.
- All employers, except the State of Arizona, the United States, and tribal entities, are covered by the Act.
How are work hours defined?
- The Act defines work hours to expressly include
- time that an employer requires the employee to undergo a security screening immediately prior to or following a work shift
- time that an employer requires the employee to be on the employer’s premises
- time that an employer requires the employee to be at a prescribed work site
- time that an employer requires the employee to be logged in and actively attentive to an employer-provided computer program, phone application, or similar device
How is an independent contractor defined by the Act?
While independent contractors are not considered employees, under the Act an individual is assumed to be an employee unless the employer can establish that:
- the individual is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work
- the individual performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business
- the individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed for the hiring entity.
In other words, the Act implements the “ABC” test, recently adopted by the California Supreme Court for employers in that state and existing in few other states. https://www.labor.ca.gov/employmentstatus/abctest/
What if my business/employer is annexed into the City of Tucson?
If Tucson annexes property that brings it within the City limits and an employer’s workplace(s) fall within the annexed property, the employees of that employer become covered by the Act 90 days after annexation.
Similarly, if an employer and employee mutually agree that the employee will work from home and the employee’s residence subsequently is annexed into the City, the employee will be covered by the Act 90 days after annexation.
An employee’s involuntary discharge during the 90-day period creates a rebuttable presumption that the discharge was retaliatory in violation of the Act.
Are there payment requirements and prohibited methods of payment?
The Act prohibits employers from requiring employees to receive minimum wage payments using:
- a pay card
- reloadable debit card
- or similar method that requires the employee to possess a valid social security number
Under the Act, “large” employers, defined as those that averaged at least 26 employees (full-time, part-time, or temporary) during the last quarter of the previous year, must pay at least three hours of minimum wage compensation when:
(1) an employee is scheduled to work at least three hours; the employee timely reports for duty; the employee is able to work the entire shift; and the employer engages the employee for fewer than three hours; or
(2) an employee is scheduled to work at least three hours and the employer cancels the employee’s shift with less than twenty-four (24) hours’ notice.
Prohibited Pay Deductions
Except as required by law or court order, the Act prohibits employers from making deductions from employee pay “if doing so will result in the employee receiving less than the minimum wage, including but not limited to amounts deducted for employer-provided meals and damaged, lost, or spoiled goods.”
The FLSA similarly prohibits deductions that drop an employee’s pay below minimum wage for the hours worked in a workweek.
Additonal Information about the Tucson Minimum Wage Act
The Labor Standards Unit:
The City is establishing the Labor Standards Unit (LSU) with the Business Services Department. The LSU's purpose will be to receive complaints from aggrieved individuals and interested parties, initiate investigations of employers and hiring entities, initiate enforcement actions, periodically conduct studies of the City’s low-wage workers for the purpose of guiding the department’s targeted enforcement efforts, educate employers of their obligations, and educate employees of their rights.
The Act prohibits retaliation for filing a complaint, asserting any claim or right or assisting another employee in doing so, communicating a complaint to an interested party, or informing another employee about their rights. If an employer takes an adverse action against an individual within 90 days of the individual engaging in the rights covered by state minimum wage and benefits law, or of notifying the employer or employer’s representative of a violation of the Act, a rebuttal presumption will arise that the adverse action was retaliatory.
Legal Action and Penatlites:
The Act provides that the City may initiate an investigation and bring a complaint in municipal court. A violation of the Act by an employer or hiring entity is a civil infraction. Penalties include a civil penalty of up to $100 per violation, to be paid to the City for each employee whose rights were violated and for each day of the violation; together with back pay to remedy any underpayment. For multiple or repeated violations, the City also may revoke, suspend, or decline to renew an employer’s business license(s).