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Legal Arizona Workers Act

As of January 1, 2008, under the Legal Arizona Workers Act, employers in Arizona are subject to civil penalties, including revocation of all Arizona business licenses, for knowingly or intentionally employing an “unauthorized alien,” someone who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and who is not otherwise legally authorized to work in the United States.

The Act requires the County Attorney to investigate allegations that an employer violated the Act.

How Complaints Alleging Unauthorized Employment will be Handled
The Pinal County Attorney’s Office will initiate an investigation against an employer only upon receipt of a valid and completed complaint from a member of the public.

A person alleging that an employer has violated the Legal Arizona Workers Act in Pinal County will be required to fill out a complaint form, which can be downloaded from the Pinal County Attorney’s Office website by clicking here or obtained in person at 30 N. Florence St., Florence, AZ.

Starting the Investigation
If the complaint is determined to be complete and contains information that, if true, would support a conclusion that the employer violated the Act, we will conduct an appropriate investigation. This will include verification of the alleged unauthorized alien’s status through the Department of Homeland Security.

A Complaint must include:

  1. Information supporting the allegation that an employer has knowingly or intentionally violated the law by hiring an unauthorized alien worker.
  2. Evidence that the workers are not legally authorized to work in this county, and again, that the employer hired them knowingly or intentionally. The law states that complaints based solely on race, color or national origin shall not be investigated.
  3. A valid signature along with you current contact information. Anonymous complaints are not prohibited, but are often more difficult and time-consuming. Therefore, anonymous complaints may or may not be investigated.

To file a complaint, download the form here.

A Meeting with an Attorney or Investigator
Once the form is completed, to submit the complaint, schedule an appointment at the County Attorney’s Office Civil Division with an attorney or investigator to provide information to assist in an investigation. Gathering information from the complainant is often crucial to make a successful case. Call 520.866.6271 to schedule an appointment.

Confidentiality of Complainant
The County attorney’s Office will not accept anonymous complaints. Filed complaints are public records and, therefore, the information contained within the complaint would not necessarily remain confidential. This may be especially true if a court action is filed. However, in appropriate circumstances, where there is a compelling reason to protect the identity of a complainant, the County Attorney’s Office will make best efforts to maintain confidentiality and may seek a protective order from court.

An individual may consult with the Civil attorney in this regard prior to meeting with the detective and filing a complaint.

A Conflict Check is Required
Before undertaking an investigation of any type, PCAO is required to determine whether such an investigation could create a conflict of interest for the office. This could happen if the employer being investigated is an entity that we represent, or one with which we have some other special relationship that would substantially affect our ability to investigate or prosecute the employer.

If a conflict of interest is identified, the case will be referred to another prosecuting agency for investigation and possible enforcement action.