The Utah Employment Law Guide

The state laws every business owner should know

Businesses must post all applicable state and federal labor law posters in the workplace.

Utah labor law posters to download

Federal labor law posters to download

Wages and Breaks

Minimum wage
$7.25

The current minimum wage in Utah is $7.25.

Tipped Min Wage
$2.13

The current minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13.

If employees are not making the standard minimum wage through tips, the employer must make up the difference.

Employers are allowed to require employees to participate in a tip pooling or sharing arrangement.

Overtime
1.5X

Utah does not have a law regarding overtime, so federal law applies. Non-exempt employees be paid 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

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.

Breaks
None

State law does not require employers to provide breaks for adult employees.

If employers choose to provide breaks, breaks less than 20 minutes must be paid. Meal periods do not need to be paid as long as the employees are free to do as they wish.

Minor Breaks
30 min per 5 hrs

Employers must provide at least a 30-minute lunch break within the first 5 hours of a minor employee’s workday.

Minors must also be given a 10-minute break for every 4 hours worked and cannot work more than 3 consecutive hours without a 10-minute break.

Final Paychecks

Employees who are fired or laid off must be paid final wages within 24 hours of the termination.

Employees who quit or who resign due to a labor dispute must be paid final wages by the next regularly scheduled payday.

Child Labor

Minors under the age of 16

Employers cannot require minors under the age of 16 to work during school hours, work more than four hours before and after school hours, work more than 8 hours in a 24-hour period, work before 5 a.m. or after 9:30 p.m. unless the next day is not a school day, work more than 40 hours in a week.

Minors 16 years of age and older

There are no time restrictions on minors 16 years of age and older.

Breaks

Employers must provide at least a 30-minute lunch break within the first 5 hours of a minor employee’s workday. Minors must also be given a 10-minute break for every 4 hours worked and cannot work more than 3 consecutive hours without a 10-minute break.

Leave Requirements

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.

Family and 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.

Bereavement leave

Employers are not required to provide bereavement leave. 

Vacation time

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 must pay employees for unused vacation time upon separation from employment.

Holiday leave

Private employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid time off for holidays.

Jury Duty

Employers are not required to pay an employee for time taken to respond to a jury summons, but they are not allowed to punish the employee in any way and may not require them to use any available vacation or sick leave.

Voting time

Employers must provide up to 2 hours of paid time off to vote if the employee does not have 3 hours of consecutive off-duty time to vote while the polls are open.

Witness Leave

Employers cannot take any adverse action against or otherwise coerce an employee for attending a deposition or hearing pursuant to a subpoena.

Court Leave

Employees who are the parents, guardians, or legal custodians of a minor, and required to appear in court with the minor, will be granted time off work (with or without pay) in order to do so.

They must provide at least seven days’ notice or let the employer know within 24 hours of receiving notice of the hearing, if seven days’ notice is not possible.

Military Leave

The federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is applicable to all employers in the United States.

Hiring, firing, and more

Discrimination

Federal law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of: Race, Color, Age, Sex, Sexual orientation, Gender, Gender identity, Religion, National origin, Pregnancy, Genetic information, including family medical history, Physical or mental disability, Child or spousal support withholding, Military or veteran status, Citizenship and/or immigration status.

Additionally, the state of Utah prohibits discrimination based on the following: AIDS/HIV; Arrest record; Breastfeeding and related medical conditions. Utah’s discrimination law applies only to businesses with 15 or more employees.

Employers may not discriminate against employees who are members of the armed forces. In addition, they must allow their employees who are members of the reserves to take military leave.

Click here to read our blog on what acceptable and unacceptable questions to ask during an interview.

Termination

Utah 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.

Record Keeping

Regarding employment and payroll data, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and others, you must:

For at least 3 years: keep payroll records, certificates, agreements, notices, collective bargaining agreements, employment contracts, and sales and purchase records. Also keep completed copies of each employee’s I-9 for three years after they are hired. If the employee works longer than three years, hold on to the form for at least one year after the employee leaves. 

For at least 2 years: Keep basic employment and earning records like timecards, wage-rate tables, shipping and billing records, and records of additions to or deductions from wages. Also keep the records that show why you may pay different wages to employees of different sexes, such as wage rates, job evaluations, seniority and merit systems, and collective bargaining agreements.

For at least 1 year: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says employers should keep all employment records for at least one year from the employee’s date of termination. 

Other record-keeping laws that may apply to you: 

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, you need to keep records of job-related injuries and illnesses for five years. But some records, like those covering toxic substance exposure, have to be kept for 30 years.

You must keep files of benefit plans and seniority and merit systems while they are in effect and for at least a year after they end. You must also retain summary descriptions and annual reports of benefits plans for six years.

If your company is covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act, you must also retain relevant records of leaves, notices, policies, and more for three years.

Additional laws that may apply to you

Background checks

Employers who run background checks should ensure they’re following the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which are available here.

Utah requires that employers conduct background checks on the following types of employees or applicants: Non-licensed school personnel, including those working for a charter school; School contract employees; School volunteers, including interns, who will have significant unsupervised access to a student; Charter school governing board members; Personnel applying to a human services program who will have direct access to a child or vulnerable adult; Certain personnel, such as officers, managers, or supervisors, who work for a package agency; Certain personnel who work for a public transit district.

Credit and Investigative Checks

Utah does not expressly allow or prohibit employers from obtaining credit reports on applicants or employees.

Arrest and Conviction Checks

Utah does not expressly allow or prohibit criminal history checks for employment purposes.

Whistleblower Protection

Employers in Utah may not discharge or discriminate against an employee for doing any of the following: Exercising their rights regarding workplace safety, such as reporting an unsafe working condition; Exercising their rights under the Utah Antidiscrimination Act; Opposing discrimination.

COBRA

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.” Utah’s mini-COBRA allows employees to continue their coverage for up to 12 months. Employers must mail an employee a notice of their COBRA rights within 30 days of the triggering event.

Social Media

Utah employers may not do the following: Request an employee or an applicant for employment to disclose a username and password, or a password that allows access to the employee’s or applicant’s personal Internet account; Take adverse action, fail to hire, or otherwise penalize an employee or applicant for employment for failure to disclose information described above.

There is an exception to the law if there is specific information about activity on the employee’s personal Internet account and the employer is either conducting an investigation for the purpose of ensuring compliance with applicable laws, regulatory requirements, or prohibitions against work-related employee misconduct, or if the employer has specific information about an unauthorized transfer of the employer’s proprietary information, confidential information, or financial data to an employee’s personal Internet account.

Compliance Calendar

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 Remember

This 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. If you need more compliance help, we recommend consulting with a qualified lawyer, checking with your local government agencies, or signing up for Homebase to get help from our certified HR Pros. 

Additional Resources