Non-Compliance: Legal Consequences for Arizona Employers

Arizona businesses must take time to understand and fully comply with the federal and the state’s health and safety standards. This is a means of ensuring the well-being of employees. At the same time, it will protect the company from legal consequences of non-compliance. Businesses may maintain a secure working environment and steer clear of possible problems by conducting routine safety audits, training employees, and consulting with specialists.

Failure to Verify Employee Eligibility to Work in the US

If an employer doesn’t check an employee’s ability to work in the US, there are substantial consequences. Employers must not take this lightly given the state’s history and closeness to international borders. The following are possible repercussions for failing to confirm an employee’s eligibility in Arizona:

Legal Requirements

  • Employers are required under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 to use Form I-9 to confirm an employee’s eligibility for work. This is a federal mandate, and violating it can lead to penalties.
  • Furthermore, Arizona approved the Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) in 2007, which requires all companies in Arizona to utilize the E-Verify system to verify their employees’ status to work in the United States.

Non-Compliance Penalties Under LAWA

  • First Offense: Employing unauthorized workers can lead to suspension of business licenses for up to 10 days. However, the duration of suspension may vary based on factors like the employer’s prior compliance with LAWA, their level of cooperation during the investigation, and the number of unauthorized workers.
  • Subsequent Offenses: Employers may have their company licenses permanently revoked for repeated violations.

Non-Compliance Penalties Under IRCA

  • Paperwork Violations: Each individual I-9 form that is missing, erroneous, or incomplete might result in a fine for the employer.
  • Unlawful Employment: Employers who unlawfully hire undocumented or illegal workers can face fines that range from hundreds to thousands of dollars for each unauthorized worker. Criminal penalties may apply for continued non-compliance of employers.
  • Pattern or Practice Violations: Employers who continue to hire unauthorized workers risk receiving even higher penalties and perhaps jail time.


  • Employers may be exempt from some fines if they can demonstrate that they made a good faith effort to comply with I-9 guidelines. A good faith effort to use E-Verify, however, is not a defense under LAWA.

Reputation and Business Impact

  • Businesses found in violation may also incur damage to their reputation. This can negatively affect business relationships with clients, partners, and stakeholders.

State and Local Cooperation

  • Authorities in Arizona are known to work with federal agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to identify and punish companies who violate I-9 rules and procedures.

Arizona employers must be proactive in ensuring compliance with both federal and state employment verification laws. Regular internal audits, HR training, and consultation with immigration and employment lawyers may help businesses stay compliant and avoid costly fines.

Failure to Get Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Employers may face hefty penalties if they fail to secure compulsory workers’ compensation insurance. Employers in Arizona are required to offer workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. This insurance covers employees who are injured or get sick as a result of their job-related tasks.

In Arizona, the following may occur if a company fails to get workers’ compensation insurance:

Civil Penalties

  • Employers who are not insured may be subject to civil fines from the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA). The penalty imposed can be severe, with fines accumulating for each day the company fails to provide coverage.

Criminal Penalties

  • Willful refusal to get workers’ compensation coverage is a Class 6 felony in Arizona. This is in addition to civil penalties. Employers may be prosecuted and, if found guilty, face penalties and perhaps imprisonment.

Liability for Claims

  • If an employee is hurt or becomes ill as a result of their employment while the employer is uninsured, the employer is directly liable for the medical and compensation costs connected with that claim. This can be far more costly than the cost of an insurance coverage.


  • The ICA may initiate a lawsuit requesting the court to prevent the company from employing anyone until they have the proper insurance for its workers.

Loss of Protection Against Lawsuits

  • Employers often benefit from workers’ compensation insurance because it protects them from legal claims resulting from on-the-job accidents or illnesses. Without this coverage, an injured employee can sue the company directly, possibly obtaining significant awards for pain, suffering, and other damages in excess of what workers’ compensation would normally pay.

Increased Premiums

  • When an employer gets workers’ compensation insurance after a lapse or after being hit with penalties, premiums are much higher owing to the perceived risk they pose to the insurance companies.

Loss of Business License or Permits

  • Failure to get proper workers’ compensation insurance may result in the revocation or suspension of business licenses or permits. This will limit one’s capacity to lawfully operate in the state.

Arizona employers must maintain active and proper workers’ compensation insurance. Consult with legal counsel or insurance professionals who are knowledgeable with Arizona’s workers’ compensation laws when in doubt or unsure.

Failure to Comply with Relevant Health and Safety Standards

Failure to comply with Arizona health and safety requirements can result in a variety of adverse consequences for employers. Arizona follows both state-specific and federal safety requirements issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In Arizona, the following are the implications of noncompliance:

Non-Compliance Inspections and Citations

  • The Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH) is overseen by the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA). ADOSH inspects workplaces to verify that safety and health requirements have been complied with. If violations are discovered, citations outlining the nature of the violations and any related fines might be issued.

Monetary Penalties

  • Employers who are found to be in violation of health and safety requirements may face fines. The fine amount is determined by the severity of the violation. Willful or repeated violations, for example, often result in larger fines than other types of offenses.

Potential Legal Action due to Non-Compliance

  • Legal action against the employer may come from major violations, particularly those that cause serious injuries or fatalities. Affected parties may file lawsuits in response to this, and in severe circumstances, prosecutors may even file criminal charges.

Increased Insurance Premiums

  • The operating expenses of the company may rise as a result of increased workers’ compensation insurance premiums brought on by a history of safety violations.

Loss of Business as a Result of Non-Compliance

  • Severe infractions or a pattern of noncompliance may result in an order to halt operations until the concerns are resolved. Business licenses or permits can be cancelled in extreme cases.

Reputation Damage

  • Safety violations made public can stain business partnerships. It may also be tough to hire quality employees as a result. Furthermore, a damaged reputation can lead to loss of contracts or opportunities to expand.

Corrective Actions

  • Employers may be obliged to adopt specified measures as remedy to the violations committed. This might include repairing or replacing equipment, updating work processes, or providing personnel with further training.

Increased Scrutiny After Non-Compliance

  • Employers may experience heightened ADOSH scrutiny following a violation. This may result in more frequent inspections and monitoring until they can prove compliance.

Employee Morale and Productivity

  • Employee morale may suffer if safety regulations are not followed because they may believe that their safety is not a top priority. This may result in lower output, greater turnover rates, and more absences.

Personal Liability

  • Company executives or managers may be held to be personally liable for safety and health violations in some situations. This happens specifically where purposeful disregard is obvious.

Businesses in Arizona must make an effort to understand and follow all national and state health and safety laws. Implementing a safe work atmosphere ensures the welfare of the employees. Most importantly, it will protect the company from any future legal problems caused by non-compliance.