The employment laws Arkansas has a few laws that are known to provide greater protections to employees when compared to federal law. It includes a higher minimum wage, health care coverage obligations for smaller employers and organ and bone marrow donation leave, but it generally follows federal law concerning subjects such as overtime pay, jury duty leave and military leave.
The employees in Arkansas are protected by both the federal and state laws about wage and hour requirements. However, the primary federal law that governs wages and hours is the Fair Labor Standards Act. Arkansas' labor laws address the state wage and hour requirements.
Minimum Wage in Arkansas
The minimum wage in Arkansas for non-exempt employees(tipped employees and full-time students) is $9.25 per hour. The minimum for tipped employees is $2.63 per hour. However, tips earned must be enough to bring the employee up to the $8.50 state minimum. Otherwise, the employer needs to pay the difference.
An employer in Arkansas is prohibited from discriminating in the payment of wages based on sex. A variation in pay can be based on differences in experience, training, skill, duties, abilities, shift or time of day worked or services performed, or any other differentiation that can be quantified rather than sex. Wherever there is an overlap between federal, state and local law, complying with the requirement that offers the most significant rights or benefits to the employee will generally apply.
The Constitution of Arkansas states that no individual will be denied employment because of one's refusal to join or be a part of a labor union, which also is mirrored in the right to work statute, enacted in 1947. Any violation or breach of the law will involve penalties, and whoever concerned may be charged as a misdemeanor and punished by a fine of at least $100 and no more than $5,000 for each charge
Discrimination in the workplace
In Arkansas, both federal and state laws prohibit employers from paying biased salaries among employees on the exclusive basis of the sex of the employee. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission administers gender wage discrimination laws, and employers are held responsible for gender wage discrimination. They will face a Class C Misdemeanor charge for each instance of discrimination. Besides, the Arkansas state employment laws protect individuals against any biased decisions based on race, color, nationality, religion, medical conditions, disability, and genetic information.
Regular rate of payment
Nonexempt employees are required to receive compensation at a regular rate. The state of Arkansas needs employers to provide payment for labor at a frequency of at least semi-monthly, or every two weeks. The Employers have the right, however, to pay with a higher rate as long as there is a regular payment schedule which is available to all employees. The failure to comply with the state's pay frequency laws could result in the employer facing a fine of $50 to $500 for each offense. Additionally, the state law requires employers to pay employees by check, direct deposit or with cash.
An employer in Arkansas who has more than four or more employees must pay employees for overtime. It is generally when the employee has worked for more than 40 hours in one week. The employer is not obligated to pay overtime compensation to the employees who are exempt from overtime payments.
An employer in the state of Arkansas is liable to provide reasonable unpaid break time to an employee who needs to lactate for her child unless it would create an undue hardship. It can be included as a paid or unpaid break that the employer already provides. If providing a break creates significant distress or expense on the employer, the employer may be excused from providing this break.