Utah Labor Laws

May 5th 2024

This article covers:

What are Utah Time Management Laws?

In the US, there are federal laws in place to manage the time spent by employees in the workplace, safeguarding their rights and guaranteeing fair pay for their efforts. These laws act as directives for employers, keeping them in check, and minimizing any forms of abuse or exploitation.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which dates back to 1938, is a critical federal law for time management, setting hourly wage rates and overtime pay, and requiring employers to keep an accurate record of their employees’ working hours. Overtime is pegged at 1.5 times the regular hourly rate for workers who exceed 40 hours a week. However, certain job categories, including executives, professionals, and administrative employees, are exempt from overtime pay depending on their job description and salary.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is another essential federal law that governs time management in the workplace, entitling eligible employees to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons, such as the birth or adoption of a child or caring for a family member with a serious health condition. This act also requires employers to maintain employees’ health benefits during their leave and restore them to their previous or equivalent positions upon their return to work.

Employers who contravene federal time management laws face severe legal ramifications, including fines, back pay, and damages. If workers feel that their employer has violated federal time management laws, they can file complaints with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division for investigation and legal action.

Overall, federal time management laws are instrumental in ensuring that workers are compensated fairly for their time and effort in the workplace, protecting them from abuse and exploitation by employers. The Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act are vital federal laws that govern time management and worker compensation, ensuring fair labor practices across various sectors, including non-profit, public, and private organizations.

Utah Minimum Wage $7.25
Utah Overtime Laws 1.5 times the rate of regular pay after working 40 hours in a workweek
($10.88 per hour for minimum wage workers)
Utah Break Laws Breaks not required by law

What are the Hiring, Working & Termination Laws in Utah?

Job applicants have the right to a just hiring process under the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. In Utah, this means employers cannot discriminate against any job applicants or employees based on certain characteristics listed in the act. Discrimination based on these characteristics is strictly prohibited:

  • Race or color
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Sex (including pregnancy and childbirth)
  • Age (for those older than 40)
  • Disabilities
  • Genetic information

In Utah, there is an employment policy called “at-will employment” where both employer and employee can terminate the employment at any time without providing a specific reason. This policy applies to private business employees unless stated otherwise in the contract. Upon termination, employers must pay the final paycheck within 24 hours. If not, the employee is entitled to their wages for up to 60 days until paid. If the employee resigns without a definite contract, the final paycheck is due on the next scheduled payday. For a deeper understanding of termination procedures and their legal context, see our Guide to Firing Employees in Utah for Employers.  

What Are the Key Labor Laws in Utah?

Now, we will discuss some key labor laws in Utah that may not be related to the categories we have previously explored. Some of these regulations include:

  • Ban-The-Box Law – In an effort to level the playing field during the hiring process for individuals with a criminal record, many states in the US have implemented a “fair chance” policy. One of these states is Utah, which has passed the “Ban-the-box” law. This law helps to ensure fairness by prohibiting questions about an applicant’s criminal history during the initial job application and delaying background checks. Unfortunately, currently, this law only applies to public employees in Utah.
  • COBRA Laws – If you’re employed in Utah, you might be able to keep your health insurance thanks to the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). This act covers terminated employees or those who have reduced work hours due to a traumatic life event, such as going through a divorce, having a serious health issue that prevents them from working, or having a family member with some severe health problem. Companies with 20 or more employees are covered under COBRA laws, and insurance could continue for up to three years. Smaller businesses with less than 20 employees will fall under Utah Mini-COBRA, which extends for up to a year. Both COBRA and Mini-COBRA limit prices to 102% of the original insurance rate.
  • OSHA Laws – The state of Utah has an approved workplace safety plan that is overseen by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). To enforce this plan, Utah has established the Utah Occupational Safety and Health Division (UOSH) under the Utah Labor Commission. The UOSH conducts workplace inspections to ensure compliance with the safety plan, and also serves as the agency to which all workplace injuries and fatalities should be reported.
  • Whistleblower Protection Laws – In Utah, public employees who witness or suspect violations of state or federal laws can find some protection thanks to whistleblower laws. Employers are not allowed to retaliate in any way, shape, or form against such whistleblowers who have filed complaints in good faith. These complaints are handled by UOSH, which investigates the allegations.
  • Background Check Laws – Employers in Utah must adhere to the regulations outlined in the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when performing employee background checks. This means providing advanced written notice to employees whose data will be collected. It’s important to note that Utah’s “Ban-the-box” law prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history during the initial application process. However, certain occupations such as child care center staff, foster parents, school personnel, and direct care providers do require criminal background checks. Additionally, specific personnel in public transit and packaging service agencies must also undergo these checks.
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing Laws – The Utah Drug and Alcohol Testing Act (UDATA) regulates any drug or alcohol testing that employers may use to screen their job applicants or employees. Employers must have a written policy if they choose to test their workers. Furthermore, to avoid liability lawsuits, employers must perform drug and alcohol testing on managers who supervise the tested employees.
  • Recordkeeping Laws – According to Federal FLSA regulations, employers are required to maintain accurate and permanent employee records. These records should include the name, address, social security number, and total amount of gross earnings (before deductions) for each pay period. The date and amount of wages paid for each pay period, as well as the dates of hiring, rehiring, layoff, or termination should also be recorded. Additionally, dates of all absences, type of service provided by the employee, and any other payments or remuneration (excluding wages) should be noted. All employee records must be kept for at least 3 years and should be easily accessible in case of an inspection.

Utah Payment Laws

To start off, let’s take a look at the laws that govern how much employees must be paid. We’ll delve into the details of minimum wage standards, including any exceptions that may apply.

What is the Minimum Payment in Utah?

Utah follows the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to ensure that the state minimum wage rate matches the federal one. Only FLSA-covered employees are entitled to this rate, which is currently set at $7.25 per hour for those covered by FLSA laws.

Tipped employees, subject to federal regulations, earn a tipped minimum wage of $2.13 per hour, as long as their tips plus direct wages equal the federal minimum wage.

Subminimum wages can be paid to disabled workers and employees under 20 years of age, with rates set by the government and employers, respectively. The “Student-Learner program” allows full-time student employees to receive 85% of the minimum wage, setting the rate for students at $6.16.  

What are the Exceptions for Minimum Payment in Utah?

The FLSA has specific exemptions for minimum wage requirements for certain occupations. These include:

  • Agricultural and seasonal workers
  • Newspaper delivery
  • On-site babysitting
  • Seasonal amusement park employees
  • Executive, administrative, and professional employees who make over $684 per week

What is the Payment Due Date in Utah?

Utah businesses are required to set up consistent paydays and give advance notice to their employees about any changes in their payment schedule. Non-salaried workers should be paid at least twice a month, and their payday needs to be within 10 days of the end of the previous pay period. Salaried employees can be paid monthly, but the payment must be made by the 7th of the following month after the services were provided.

What are Utah Overtime Laws?

In Utah, overtime regulations follow the federal guidelines of the FLSA. This means that any work exceeding 40 hours in a workweek will be considered overtime. The workweek is defined as a recurring 168-hour period, divided into seven 24-hour periods. It’s important to note that this may not correlate with typical daylight hours or weekdays. Any overtime hours worked must be compensated at a rate of 1.5 times the regular pay.  

What are Overtime Exceptions and Exemptions in Utah?

In compliance with federal regulations, Utah has a list of professions that are not obligated to adhere to overtime rules. This roster entails:

  • Executive, administrative, and professional employees earning more than $684 per week
  • Farm workers
  • Seasonal workers
  • Railroad employees
  • Taxi drivers

Learn more in detail about Utah Salaried Employees Laws and Utah Overtime Laws.

What are Utah Time Off/Break Laws?

In Utah, there are no laws that mandate employers to give their employees meal breaks or rest periods during work hours. But if an employer decides to offer these breaks as a company benefit, they must adhere to certain guidelines. For instance, a rest period that lasts up to 20 minutes must be included in the employee’s working hours and hence, be paid. On the other hand, meal periods that are unpaid must extend beyond 20 minutes, and during that time, the employer must provide relief to the employee from all work-related tasks.  

What are the Exceptions to Break Law in Utah?

In Utah, there’s one exception to the laws regarding breaks: minor employees are allowed to take a 30-minute break after working for 5 consecutive hours.

What are Utah Breastfeeding Laws?

According to the federal FLSA law, employers in Utah are required to give nursing mothers extra break time. This includes providing them with reasonable time and appropriate facilities to express their breast milk. Regular bathroom facilities and toilet stalls are not sufficient. Employers must also offer this right for up to one year following childbirth.

What are Utah Leave Laws?

Utah provides two types of leaves – required and non-required leaves.

What is Utah Required Leave?

The following are the required leave types that Louisiana employers must provide to their employees:

  • Family and Medical Leave – If you’re a Utah employee dealing with a medical emergency, you may be eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Some medical situations that qualify for FMLA leave include childbirth, adoption or fostering, a serious health condition preventing you from working, or caring for a family member who has a serious health condition. However, there are also additional requirements to qualify for FMLA leave. Federal law requires that you have been with the same employer for at least 12 months before requesting the leave, and have worked at least 1,250 hours in those 12 months.
  • Jury Duty Leave – In Utah, it is illegal for employers to punish or fire an employee for serving on jury duty. Employers are also required to provide paid leave for jury duty, and cannot make employees use their vacation time for this purpose.
  • Witness Leave – In Utah, employers cannot stop their workers from attending court cases where they have been subpoenaed. This is due to the witness leave law which mandates that employees can be absent from work and still receive their regular pay.
  • Military Leave – If you are a member of the uniformed services and need to take military leave, you can do so under the federal law known as the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). USERRA ensures that you have the right to return to your job after deployment. However, there are some conditions that must be met. You are required to notify your employer of your deployment, and your time spent in active military service cannot exceed 5 years. Your military discharge must not be dishonorable or disqualifying, and your return to work must be timely. If these conditions are met, you are entitled to all benefits and seniority you held prior to your deployment.
  • Emergency Response Leave (for State Employees) – Utah State workers who are certified volunteers have the opportunity to use 15 calendar days per year when responding to natural disasters. However, they need the green light from their agency supervisor and a written request from an official on the team they’re associated with. Sick leave is also available for all Utah State workers. They can rack up 4 hours of sick leave every pay period, regardless of their duration of service. This type of leave can be used for various reasons, including preventive dental or health care, paternity, maternity, or the injury or illness of family members.
  • Sick Leave (for State Employees) – If you work for the Utah government, you can accumulate 4 hours of sick leave with every pay period, without regard to how long you’ve been in the job. You can utilize this type of leave for various reasons, such as health checkups, pregnancy, parenting, and attending to sick relatives, among others.
  • Bereavement Leave (for State Employees) – When an immediate family member of a state employee passes away, that employee is permitted to take up to three paid bereavement days off of work. In order to receive this leave, the employee must inform their supervisor in writing and include the name of the deceased relative as well as their own relationship to that person.
  • Vacation and Holiday Leave (for State Employees) – As a full-time State employee, your accrued annual leave rate will depend on the number of years you have been working. If you have worked for up to 5 years, you will receive an accrual rate of 4 hours per pay period. For 5-10 years of service, the rate will be 5 hours per pay period. The rate increases to 6 hours per pay period for 10-20 years of service and to 7 hours per pay period for those who have worked for 20 years or more. Additionally, you will also accumulate holiday leave based on the number of hours you have worked and been paid for each pay period.
  • Voting Time Leave (for State Employees) – Utah employers are required to provide their employees with up to 2 hours of paid voting time during poll hours. But, employees who have at least 3 hours of non-working time during voting hours are exempt from this requirement.

What is Utah Non-Required Leave?

The non-required leave types are:

  • Sick Leave (Private Employees) – Private employers in Utah are not obligated by any regulations to offer sick leave benefits to their workers.
  • Bereavement Leave (Private Employees) – It’s not mandatory for private employers in Utah to give bereavement leave to their workers.
  • Vacation And Holiday Leave (Private Employees) – Employees in Utah’s private sector do not have the right to take time off for vacations or holidays.

The following are the official federal holidays observed in the US:

State Official Holidays Date
New Year’s Day 1 January
Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Day Third Monday in January
Washington’s Birthday Third Monday in February
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day 4 July
Labor Day First Monday in September
Columbus Day Second Monday in October
Election Day Every other year
Veterans Day 11 November
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day 25 December

What are Utah Child Labor Laws?

Utah adheres to federal provisions concerning child labor laws, with one notable deviation. Minors working for 5 or more hours in a row are entitled to a 30-minute break, which is specific to the state.

What are the Laws on Working Hours for Minors in Utah?

When it comes to minors and their legal working hours, the FLSA has different requirements for those under 16 years old and those who are 16 or 17:

Age Group Work Hour Restrictions
Minors Under 16 Years Old On school days:

+Can work between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

+Maximum of 3 hours

+Maximum of 18 hours in a week while school is in session

While school is out of session:

+Can work between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.

+No more than 8 hours on a non-school day

+No more than 40 hours in a weekday

Minors Aged 16 and 17 Years No particular restrictions on work hours

What are the Banned Jobs for Minors in Utah?

The FLSA has provisions that restrict certain occupations for minors due to their risky nature, and this law applies to employees who are under 18 years old. In Utah, there are specific occupations that fall under this category, including:

  • Boiler room operator
  • Excavator
  • Miner
  • Meat processing operator
  • Motor vehicle operator/servicer
  • Power-driven machinery operator
  • Roofer
  • Welder
  • Occupations in establishments that serve alcohol

Learn more in detail about Utah Child Labor Laws.

Important Cautionary Note

This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, we cannot guarantee that it is free of errors or omissions. Users are advised to independently verify any critical information and should not solely rely on the content provided.