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Employment At-Will: Arizona

Employment At-Will requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Paige A. Martin and Mary Grace McNear, Kutak Rock LLP


  • Arizona has codified the employment at-will doctrine and its state courts have consistently upheld the at-will status of employees. See Employment At-Will Doctrine, Generally.
  • Arizona will treat all new public employees as at-will employees, and public employers may even offer incentives to existing employees in exchange for relinquishing their property right to employment as well as their due process rights. See Arizona Public Employees.
  • Arizona courts interpret each provision of employment contracts independently to ascertain whether employees have rights beyond those of at-will employees. In addition, courts will analyze both verbal exchanges and written provisions of employee handbooks to determine whether the employer has modified an employee's at-will status. See Employment Contracts.
  • Arizona's Employment Protection Act codifies the state's public policy exceptions to the employment at-will doctrine, covering terminations that violate state statutes which do not provide remedies to terminated employees. See Public Policy Exceptions.
  • Arizona courts recognize the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing applies to both at-will employees and contract employees, but the covenant provides only limited protection to at-will employees. See Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing.
  • Arizona courts recognize other employment-related torts including intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy and intentional interference with contractual relations. See Exceptions in Tort.