Under Arizona's Employment Protection Act, in the absence of a written contract, private sector employment relationships are “severable at will” at any time by either the employer or the employee, unless there is a written contract to the contrary specifying a duration of time for the employment relationship or otherwise restricting the right of either party to terminate the relationship (AZ Rev. Stat. Sec. 23-1501). A written contract may take the form of a legal document signed by both parties, or it may be expressed in an employee handbook or manual distributed to employees, provided the handbook or manual specifically states that it is to be read as a contract of employment.
The Employment Protection Act also sets forth certain exceptions to this doctrine by outlining the circumstances under which an employee has a claim for wrongful termination, including when:
• The employment relationship is terminated in breach of an employment contract;
• The employment relationship is terminated in violation of the state constitution or a state statute, such as the civil rights law, occupational safety and health law, or whistleblowing laws; or
• The employer violates the continued employment rights of a public employee.
All definitions and restrictions contained in a statute also apply to any civil action based on a violation of the public policy arising out of the statute. If the statute provides a remedy to an employee for violation of the statute, these remedies are the exclusive remedies for the employee.
Discrimination. The Arizona Civil Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age (40 and older), national origin, genetic ...