Arizona Legislature Looks to Protect Businesses from Unfair Audits

Date: April 06, 2016

Bill would let businesses correct minor deficiencies rather than receiving fines.

Arizona Legislature Looks to Protect Businesses from Unfair Audits

Arizona small businesses are likely to get a helping hand from the state legislature this session.


House Bill 2337—which passed the House with an overwhelming majority and is now awaiting a Senate vote—would make the auditing process more transparent and help protect small business from unfair citations and fines by allowing them to correct minor deficiencies first. The bill’s sponsor is Rep. Jill Norgaard of Ahwatukee.


“We often hear from our members about how they are being bullied by regulators during an audit or inspection,” said NFIB Arizona State Director Farrell Quinlan. “Subtle and some not-so-subtle intimidation tactics are employed to discourage the small business owner from disputing a finding or imposition of harsh penalties for paperwork violations that have little impact on the health and safety of workers or customers.”


The bill, which is expected to pass the Senate and be signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey, would further establish Arizona as a small business-friendly state and create a more sensible and cooperative regulatory environment.


A continuation of HB 2213—passed last session to establish the default state policy of allowing an opportunity to correct in the case of regulatory violations—the new bill clarifies and tightens up the language to ensure this law is applied regularly rather than as the exception, said Quinlan.


“The regulator and the regulated should be partners in ensuring a safe and healthy workplace, and not adversaries,” he said.

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