It’s important to stay up to date on all of the employment laws in your state so that you can maintain compliance in your business. We did some of the hard work for you and put some of the most important Wyoming statutes in one place so you can either learn them for the first time or give yourself a refresher.
However, remember that our summary is not qualified legal advice, laws are always subject to change, and they can vary from municipality to municipality.
It’s up to you to make sure you’re compliant with all laws and statutes in your area. Consult with a qualified lawyer and/or your local government agencies if you have questions or concerns.
Here are a few Wyoming labor laws every small business owner should know.
First, here are a few helpful links and resources for you to bookmark and refer back to:
- Wyoming Department of Workforce Services
- Wyoming DOWS Employer Page
- Required Wyoming Workplace Posters
- Sick Days: Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid sick leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one.
- Medical Leave: Employers may be required to provide an employee unpaid leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
- Vacation Leave: Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid vacation leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one.
- Employers may establish a policy that denies payment for accrued vacation time upon separation from employment.
- Employers may require employees to be employed on a specific date before they receive their vacation leave allotment.
- Employers can implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy that requires employees to use their leave by a certain date, as long as a reasonable amount of time is given.
- Jury Duty: Employers are not required to pay employees for time spent responding to a jury summons but are not allowed to punish the employee in any way.
- Witness Leave: Employers cannot take any action against an employee for responding to a subpoena in a criminal case.
- Holiday Leave: Private employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid time off for holidays.
- Voting Leave: Employers are required to provide 1 hour of paid leave to vote if employees do not have at least 3 consecutive off-duty hours in which to vote.
- Bereavement Leave: Employers are not required to provide bereavement leave.
- Military Leave: Employers must allow their employees to take military leave. The employee must be allowed to use other paid leave they have available for the military leave.
- After their service, the employee is entitled to return to their job with the same sick leave, vacation, and annual leave that they would have accrued if they had not taken the leave under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. For one year, the employer may not discharge the employee without cause.
Drug and Alcohol Testing
Wyoming does not regulate employers’ drug and alcohol testing. However, employers can receive a discount on their workers’ compensation premiums if they follow certain requirements, which are accessible here.
- While most employers may choose the frequency and timing of paying their employees, employers in the following industries must pay their employees at least semimonthly:
- Oil and gas exploration or production
Employees who separate from employment for any reason (including terminations, resignations and layoffs) must be paid all final wages by the next regularly scheduled payday.
- The current minimum wage in Wyoming is $5.15, but most employers must comply with the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
- Employers who pay the minimum wage rate must pay the higher rate between the state and federal.
- The minimum wage for tipped employees who receive more than $30 a month in tips is $2.13. Employees may be paid this if the cash wage and tips total at least the minimum wage.
- Employers are not allowed to require employees to participate in a tip pooling or sharing arrangement.
- Minors 14 and 15 years of age are subject to the following restrictions:
- When school is in session:
- A maximum of 3 hours a day on school days
- A maximum of 8 hours a day on non-school days
- A maximum of 18 hours a week during school weeks
- Between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
- No working during school hours
- When school is not in session
- A maximum of 8 hours a day
- No more than 40 hours a week
- Between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. from June 1 to Labor Day
- When school is in session:
- Minors 16 and 17 years of age are allowed to work the same hours as adults.
- Minors may not be employed in any of the following types of industries or positions:
- Working in or about plants or establishments manufacturing or storing explosives
- Driving a motor vehicle or riding along the outside of a vehicle, with limited exceptions
- Coal or other mining
- Logging and sawmill operations, forest fire fighting and forest fire prevention operations, and timber tract and forestry service occupations
- Work involving exposure to radioactive substances and to ionizing radiations
- Wrecking, demolition, and ship-breaking operations
- *Slaughtering or meat packing, processing, or rendering
- Manufacturing brick, tile, or similar products
- *Operating most heavy machinery and power tools
- *Roofing operations and work on or about a roof
- *Excavating operations
Meal and Rest Breaks, Overtime
- Wyoming law does not require that employers provide any breaks to their employees.
- The federal overtime rule stipulates that the minimum salary requirement for administrative, professional, and executive exemptions is $684 per week, or $35,568 per year.
- Wyoming does not have any rules regarding overtime, but federal law requires employers to pay non-exempt employees an overtime rate of 1 ½ their regular rate for all hours worked in a workweek in excess of 40.
- Federal law does not require employers to provide meal periods or breaks, but if they choose to do so, breaks lasting less than 20 minutes must be paid.
Wyoming requires the following posters to be displayed in a prominent location:
- Health and Safety Protection on the Job
- Wyoming State Minimum Wage
- Wyoming Unemployment Insurance
- Workers’ Rights
- Attention Employees and Applicants
- Wyoming Workers’ Compensation Act
- Background checks: Employers who run background checks should ensure they’re following the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which are available here.
- Credit and Investigative Checks: Wyoming does not expressly allow or prohibit employers from obtaining credit reports on applicants or employees.
- Arrest and Conviction Checks: Wyoming does not expressly allow or prohibit criminal history checks for employment purposes. Applicants may respond in the negative to inquiries about arrests or convictions if the applicable records have been expunged.
- Mandatory Background Checks: Employers are required to conduct background checks on the following types of applicants:
- Personnel who work for a substitute care provider certified by the Department of Family Services
- Personnel who have contracted with either the Department of Health or the Department of Family Services and provide specialized home care or respite care to minors
- The Wyoming Fair Employment Practices Act makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against a qualified disabled person or any person otherwise qualified, because of:
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity
- National origin
- Genetic information, including family medical history
- Physical or mental disability
- Child or spousal support withholding
- Military or veteran status
- Citizenship and/or immigration status
- Click here to read our blog on what acceptable and unacceptable questions to ask during an interview.
- Employers in Wyoming may not discharge or discriminate against an employee for doing any of the following:
- Reporting a workplace safety violation
- Participating in an investigation regarding workplace safety
- Reporting a violation of the equal pay law
- Healthcare facility employers may not discharge or discriminate against an employee for reporting a violation of the law.
Wyoming is an employment-at-will state, which means that without a written employee contract, employees can be terminated for any reason at any time, provided that the reason is not discriminatory and that the employer is not retaliating against the employee for a rightful action.
- COBRA is a federal law that allows many employees to continue their health insurance benefits after their employment ends. Because federal COBRA only applies to employers that have 20 or more employees, many states have adopted their own versions of the law, which are known as “mini-COBRAs.”
- Wyoming’s mini-COBRA allows employees to continue their coverage for up to 12 months. Each individual certification of coverage must contain a notice of the right to continue coverage.
There are currently no laws regarding shift scheduling in Wyoming.