Arkansas Labor Laws (2024 Guide For Employers)

Arkansas employers need to have a solid understanding of Arkansas labor laws.

  • Are Arkansas labor laws leaving you confused about your rights as an employee or employer?
  • Struggling to understand the intricacies of minimum wage laws and how they apply to your specific situation?
  • Wondering about the nuances of time-off policies and how they align with state regulations?

This guide will explore the complexities of employment regulations and employment law.

This article is for:

  • Private employers seeking reliable sources to understand their obligations under Arkansas labor laws.
  • Non-exempt employees looking for insights into their rights and protections.
  • Little Rock-based businesses navigating the state’s unique employment landscape.

In this article, we’ll address frequently asked questions (FAQs) surrounding time-off, health care, and recordkeeping.

We’ll also explore topics such as overtime compensation, the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act, and the rights of employees in the state.

Disclaimer: Despite our best efforts to provide you with accurate information on this topic at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content at the time of reading. This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult an attorney for specific guidance on Arkansas labor laws.

Arkansas Wage Laws

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in Arkansas is currently $11.00 per hour, which is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

This rate applies to employers with four or more employees.

Employers with fewer than four employees are required to pay at least the federal minimum wage. It’s important to note that Arkansas voters approved this increased minimum wage in 2018, so it’s a good idea to stay informed about any future changes.


There are certain professions that may be exempt from the state’s minimum wage requirements.

These exemptions typically apply to specific industries or job types, such as agricultural workers or employees in certain supervisory roles.

If you’re unsure whether your profession falls under an exemption, the best course of action is to contact the Arkansas Department of Labor (ADL) for clarification.

Their website or a phone call can provide you with the most up-to-date information on exemptions.

Payment Laws

Arkansas law mandates that employers pay their workers on a regular basis, with the minimum frequency being bi-weekly.

This means you’ll receive your paycheck at least twice a month.

Additionally, employers are only allowed to make deductions from your paycheck that are legal and for which you’ve provided authorization.

If you have any questions or concerns about deductions being made from your wages, don’t hesitate to consult with the ADL or an attorney.

Tipped Employees

For tipped employees, like servers or bartenders, Arkansas has a separate minimum wage requirement.

The current cash wage for tipped employees is $2.63 per hour.

However, there’s an important caveat: employers are required to ensure that when tips are factored in, the total wages reach at least the standard $11.00 per hour minimum wage.

This means that if an employee’s tips, combined with their cash wage, don’t reach $11.00 per hour, the employer must make up the difference.

Arkansas Overtime Laws

Overtime Pay

Arkansas follows the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) guidelines when it comes to overtime pay.

This means that employees who are not exempt from overtime regulations are entitled to receive overtime pay at a rate of one and a half times their regular rate of pay for any hours worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek.


The workweek, for the purpose of calculating overtime, is defined as any seven consecutive days chosen by the employer.

This flexibility allows employers to establish a workweek that best suits their operational needs, as long as it complies with both state and federal laws.

Arkansas Break Laws

Meal Breaks

There is no requirement under Arkansas state law for employers to provide mandated meal breaks.

This means that employers have the discretion to determine their own break policies for meal times, as long as they comply with the FLSA.

The FLSA generally doesn’t require meal breaks for employees 18 and older, but it does mandate that breaks of 20 minutes or less must be counted as paid work time.

Rest Breaks

Similar to meal breaks, Arkansas law doesn’t mandate employers to provide rest breaks.

However, there’s a key point to remember: any breaks shorter than 20 minutes must be classified as paid work time.

So, if your employer offers short breaks throughout the day, make sure they’re at least 20 minutes long to ensure you’re not working unpaid.

Arkansas Leave Requirements

Jury Duty

If you’re summoned for jury duty, Arkansas law protects your job. Employers are required to grant you unpaid leave for jury duty, and they cannot penalize you in any way for fulfilling your civic duty.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to Arkansas employees as well.

The FMLA provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for qualifying reasons, such as caring for a newborn child or a seriously ill family member.

Sick Leave

Currently, there is no statewide law in Arkansas that mandates paid sick leave.

However, some cities and municipalities within the state may have their own ordinances regarding paid sick leave.

If you’re unsure whether your area has a local sick leave law, it’s recommended that you check with your local government or human resources department.

Child Labor Laws in Arkansas

Hours And Age

Specific limitations on work hours and prohibited occupations exist for minors under 18.

You should refer to the ADL website for detailed regulations.

Work Permits

Required for most minors working outside of agriculture.

Arkansas Hiring Laws

At-Will Employment

Arkansas is an at-will state, meaning employers can hire and fire employees without reason (except for discriminatory or retaliatory motives).

Background Checks

Employers can conduct background checks with proper authorization and disclosures.

Discrimination Laws

The Arkansas Civil Rights Act and federal statutes prohibit discrimination based on race, religion, gender, national origin, and other protected categories.

Arkansas Termination Laws

Notice Period

Generally, no required notice for termination in at-will employment. Exceptions may apply for written contracts or specific company policies.

Severance Pay

Not required by law, but some employers offer severance packages based on company policy.

Occupational Safety in Arkansas

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation provides benefits for work-related injuries and illnesses.

Employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance.

OSHA Regulations

Arkansas adheres to federal OSHA standards for workplace safety and health.

Disclaimer: Not Legal Advice

This blog post provides a general overview of Arkansas labor laws but does not constitute legal advice. Laws and regulations are subject to change, and there may be additional requirements or exemptions that apply to specific situations. Employers and employees should consult a qualified labor law attorney for advice on their specific circumstances.

If you have any questions about your rights or obligations as an employer or employee in Arkansas, it is essential to consult with a labor law attorney to receive accurate information and guidance tailored to your situation. By seeking professional legal advice, you can ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps to comply with labor laws and protect your rights.

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