Utah Labor Laws Guide
Ultimate Utah labor laws guide: minimum wage, overtime, breaks, leave, hiring, termination, and miscellaneous labor laws.
|Utah Labor Laws FAQ|
|Utah minimum wage||$7.25|
|Utah overtime laws||1.5 times the rate of regular pay after working 40 hours in a workweek
($14.50 per hour for minimum wage workers)
|Utah break laws||Breaks not required by law|
Table of contents
Utah wage laws
Wage laws in Utah rely heavily on federal provisions, with the only additional legislation being the one concerned with pay frequency.
For better clarity, we’ve outlined the following subcategories of Utah wage laws:
- Minimum wage in Utah
- Tipped minimum wage in Utah
- Subminimum wage in Utah
- Exceptions to the minimum wage in Utah
- Utah payment laws
|MINIMUM WAGE IN UTAH|
|Regular minimum wage||Tipped minimum wage||Subminimum wage|
|$7.25||$2.13||Training wage — $4.25
Student-learners — $6.16
Employees with disabilities — rate determined by government agency
Utah minimum wage
Utah’s minimum wage regulations are set in accordance with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), in a way that ensures that the state minimum wage rate is always the same as the federal one.
As a result, only employees covered by the FLSA are entitled to minimum wage rate requirements.
As of August 2022, the federal minimum wage for these employees is $7.25 per hour.
Tipped minimum wage in Utah
Tipped employees are also subject to federal regulations, and the federal tipped minimum wage rate of $2.13 per hour.
The employer can pay the employee at this rate as long as the direct wages combined with the tips amount to at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25. If this is not the case, the employer must cover the difference.
Additionally, the threshold for the minimum amount earned in tips before the employee can be paid as a “tipped employee” is $30.
Subminimum wage in Utah
Subminimum wage is any wage lower than the federal, state, or local minimum wage — whichever one is applicable.
Under FLSA laws, employers with a special certificate can pay a subminimum wage to employees with disabilities.
The wage rate for employees with disabilities is determined by a government agency, and should reflect the output the person is capable of in comparison to the standard workload.
Another type of subminimum wage is called a training wage. Under federal law, employers can pay this type of wage to employees under 20 years of age, during their first 90 days of employment.
The training wage rate in Utah is $4.25.
Lastly, we have the so-called “Student-Learner program”, which allows employers to pay their employees who are full-time students at 85% of the minimum wage requirement.
This puts the minimum wage rate for students at $6.16.
Exceptions to the minimum wage in Utah
According to the federal FLSA laws, some of the occupations that are exempt from minimum wage requirements include the following:
- Agricultural workers
- Seasonal workers
- Newspaper deliverers
- Casual, on-site babysitters
- Seasonal amusement park employees
- Executive, administrative, and professional employees, provided that their wage exceeds $684 per week
Utah payment laws
Utah employers must establish regular paydays, as well as inform employees of any changes to the payment schedule in advance.
Regular pay period for non-salaried employees should be no longer than semimonthly, and the payday must fall within 10 days of the ending of the previous pay period.
As for salaried employees, they can be paid on a monthly basis, but the payday must be on or before the 7th of the month following the month for which services are provided.
Utah overtime laws
When it comes to regulating overtime, Utah here too uses the federal FLSA regulations.
According to these regulations, all work exceeding 40 hours in a workweek is considered overtime.
The workweek is a regularly recurring period of 168 hours (split into 7 24-hour periods), which does not necessarily correlate to usual time of day and week days.
All overtime hours worked must be paid at the rate of 1.5 times the regular pay.
Overtime exceptions and exemptions in Utah
Following the federal requirements, Utah also has occupations that are exempt from overtime provisions. These include:
- Executive, administrative, and professional employees earning more than $684 per week
- Farm workers
- Seasonal workers
- Railroad employees
- Taxi drivers
Utah break laws
There are no particular state or federal laws that would require Utah employers to provide meal breaks or rest periods during work hours.
However, if the employer does choose to provide breaks as a company benefit, they must follow these requirements:
- Rest periods of up to 20 minutes must be paid, and calculated towards work hours.
- To be unpaid, meal periods must be longer than 20 minutes, and the employer must relieve the employee of all duties for their duration.
Exceptions to break laws in Utah
The only exception Utah break laws make is one for minor employees — allowing them a 30-minute break after working 5 consecutive hours.
Utah breastfeeding laws
Under the federal FLSA law, Utah employers have to provide additional break time for nursing mothers.
This means that the employer is responsible for providing the employee reasonable time and accommodation to express their breast milk.
In addition to more frequent breaks, the employers must provide adequate facilities. Toilet stalls and restrooms do not meet the requirements for “adequate facilities”.
The right for additional nursing breaks lasts up to one year after childbirth.
Utah leave requirements
This section of the guide covers both the required and the non-required types of leave in Utah.
Utah required leave
First, we can take a look at types of leave required by Utah law:
- Family and medical leave
- Jury duty leave
- Witness leave
- Military leave
- Emergency response leave (for State employees)
- Sick leave (for State employees)
- Bereavement leave (for State employees)
- Vacation and holiday leave (for State employees)
- Voting time leave (for State employees)
Family and medical leave
Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), some Utah employees may be eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in case of medical emergencies.
Events that may qualify an employee for family and medical leave include:
- Childbirth and newborn care
- Adoption or taking in a foster child
- A serious health condition that prevents the employee from working
- A family member with a serious health condition
As for the additional requirements the employees need to fulfill, federal law states that the employee must have:
- Worked for the same employer for at least 12 months prior to requesting the leave, and
- Worked at least 1,250 hours in those 12 months.
Jury duty leave
An employer in Utah cannot threaten, discipline, or discharge an employee who chooses to attend jury duty.
Additionally, employers cannot ask their employees to use available vacation time, and must provide paid leave for the employee to attend jury duty.
Utah employers may not prevent their employees from attending court cases they were subpoenaed to.
This is because the employees are entitled to the so-called witness leave, allowing them to be absent for court with full pay.
Any member of the uniformed services is eligible for unpaid military leave under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) law.
This law states that employees can leave for deployment, and be reinstated to their position upon their return.
To be able to do this, the following conditions must be met:
- The employee must provide a notice of their military service to the employer,
- The total time spent in active military service must remain under 5 years,
- The military discharge cannot be dishonorable or disqualifying, and
- The return to work must be timely.
Additionally, the employee is entitled to all the benefits, as well as the level of seniority they held prior to the deployment.
Emergency response leave (for State employees)
Utah State employees who are certified volunteers can use up to 15 calendar days per year to participate in disaster relief.
However, they must acquire the approval of their agency supervisor, and a written request from an official of the volunteer services the employee is associated with.
Sick leave (for State employees)
Utah public employees can accrue up to 4 hours sick leave per pay period, regardless of years of service.
This type of leave can be used for purposes of:
- Preventative dental or health care,
- Injury or illness of family members, etc.
Bereavement leave (for State employees)
State employees are allowed up to 3 days of paid bereavement leave following the death of a member of the immediate family.
The employee must provide a written note to their supervisor, containing the name of the deceased and the employee’s relationship to the deceased.
Annual and holiday leave (for State employees)
Full-time State employees receive accrued annual leave at different rates, in accordance with the number of years served:
- Up to 5 years — 4 hours accrual per pay period
- 5–10 years — 5 hours accrual per pay period
- 10–20 years — 6 hours accrual per pay period
- 20 years or more — 7 hours accrual per pay period
Additionally, eligible employees accrue holiday leave, based on the number of hours paid in a pay period. These calculations do not include holiday hours.
|Hours Paid in the Pay
|1 Per Pay
|2 Per Pay
Voting time leave
Employers in Utah need to provide paid voting time leave of no longer than 2 hours between the time the polls open and close.
However, this requirement does not apply to employees who have 3 or more hours of non-working time during which they can vote.
Utah non-required leave
Moving on, we have the types of leave not required by Utah law, unless otherwise specified in the contract between employer and employee:
- Sick leave (private employees)
- Bereavement leave (private employees)
- Vacation and holiday leave (private employees)
Sick leave (private employees)
There are no regulations which would require private Utah employers to provide sick leave to their employees.
Bereavement leave (private employees)
Private employers in Utah are not required to provide bereavement leave to their employees.
Vacation and holiday leave (private employees)
Private Utah employees are not entitled to vacation or holiday leave.
Child labor laws in Utah
In the case of child labor laws, Utah again uses mostly the federal provisions, as defined under the FLSA.
One exception is the fact that Utah provides a 30-minute break for minors working 5 or more consecutive hours.
When it comes to legal working hours for minors, FLSA has different requirements for these two age categories:
- Minors under 16, and
- Minors aged 16 and 17.
Utah labor laws for minors under the age of 16
Minors under the age of 16 can work the following hours:
- Anytime from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on school days
- Anytime from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. while school is out of session
- No more than 3 hours on a school day
- No more than 18 hours in a week while school is in session
- No more than 8 hours on a non-school day
- No more than 40 hours in a week while school is out of session
Utah labor laws for minors aged 16 and 17
There are no particular restrictions when it comes to work hours of minors aged 16 and 17.
Prohibited occupations for minors in Utah
The FLSA also regulates occupations prohibited to minors, which are considered too dangerous for employees under 18 years old to perform.
In Utah, prohibited occupations for minors are some of the following:
- Boiler room operator
- Meat processing operator
- Motor vehicle operator/servicer
- Power-driven machinery operator
- Occupations in establishments which serve alcohol
Hiring laws in Utah
Under the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, job applicants have a right to a fair hiring process. As such, discrimination is prohibited on the basis of:
- Race or color
- National origin
- Sex (including pregnancy and childbirth)
Additionally, different federal laws prevent hiring discrimination on the basis of:
These provisions prohibit Utah employers from refusing to hire or treating differently any job applicants or employees on the basis of any of the listed characteristics.
Utah “Ban-the-box” law
Many US states have a “fair chance” hiring policy aimed at providing a better chance for competition during the hiring process for people with a criminal record.
Utah is one of these states, having passed the so-called “Ban-the-box” law, which enables a fairer hiring process by:
- Prohibiting questions about the applicant’s criminal history during the initial job application, and
- Delaying background checks.
However, this law currently applies only to public Utah employees.
Termination laws in Utah
Utah is one of many US states which use the principle of “at-will employment” to guide their termination policies.
This is a type of an employment relationship that can be terminated by either the employer or the employee, at any time.
Moreover, neither party needs to provide a particular reason behind the termination.
These terms of employment also apply to private business employees, unless otherwise specified in their contract with the employer.
Final paycheck in Utah
Upon termination, employers must pay the employees their final paycheck within 24 hours of the time of termination.
Additionally, if the employer fails to pay the employee within this time period — the wages of the employee will continue at the same rate for up to 60 days from the date of demand until paid.
If the employee does not have a contract for a definite period and they resign, their final paycheck is due on or by the next regularly scheduled payday.
COBRA and Utah Mini-COBRA laws
Utah employees may be eligible for continued health insurance under the provisions of the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).
This insurance is provided for employees who are terminated, or are having some other significant stressful life event such as:
- A significant reduction of work hours
- A serious health issue that makes the employee unable to work
- A family member with serious health issues
COBRA laws cover employers with 20 or more employees, and may allow the continuation of health insurance for up to 36 months.
Smaller businesses (those with less than 20 employees) are covered by the Utah Mini-COBRA, which allows continued insurance for up to 12 months.
Both the COBRA and the Mini-COBRA are usually price-capped at 102% of the original cost.
Occupational safety in Utah
Utah has a state plan for workplace safety, approved by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
This state plan established the Utah Occupational Safety and Health Division (UOSH), under the Utah Labor Commission.
The UOSH conducts workplace inspections to ensure all of its requirements are being followed.
It is also the agency to which all workplace injuries and fatalities should be reported.
Miscellaneous Utah labor laws
In the end, we have a brief review of some of the miscellaneous Utah labor laws which do not strictly fit into the previously mentioned categories.
These include the following:
- Whistleblower protection laws
- Background check laws
- Drug and alcohol testing laws
- Record-keeping laws
Whistleblower protection laws
Utah’s whistleblower laws provide a level of protection to public employees who report suspected or witnessed violations of state or federal laws.
These laws prohibit employers from discharging, threatening, or in any other way retaliating against a whistleblower filing in good faith.
Whistleblower complaints are filed with and investigated by the UOSH.
Background check laws
Utah employers have to make sure to follow the regulations provided in the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when conducting employee background checks.
Notably, employers need to provide a written notice in advance to employees whose background data they will be collecting.
As previously mentioned in the section on Utah’s “Ban-the-box” law, employers cannot ask about the applicant's criminal history during the initial application.
However, some occupations where criminal background checks are required include the following:
- Child care center staff (including family and religious child care centers)
- Foster parents
- School personnel
- Direct care providers
- Certain public transit personnel
- Certain packaging service agency personnel
Drug and alcohol testing laws
All actions employers take to test their employees and job applicants for the presence of drugs or alcohol are subject to regulations of the Utah Drug and Alcohol Testing Act (UDATA).
All employers who choose to test their employees must have a written drug or alcohol testing policy.
Additionally, to remain protected from liability claims, the employer must also test managers supervising the tested employees.
Federal FLSA regulations require that employers maintain accurate and permanent employee records, including the following information:
- Name and address
- Social security number
- Total amount of gross earnings (before deductions) for each pay period
- The date and amount of wages paid for each pay period
- The dates of hiring, rehiring, layoff, or termination
- Dates of all absences
- Type of service the employee provided
- Other payments or remuneration, excluding wages
All employee records must be kept for at least 3 years, and be kept in a place that is easily accessible in case of an inspection.
We hope this Utah labor law guide has been helpful. We advise you to make sure you’ve paid attention to the links we’ve provided, as most of them will lead you to the official government websites and other relevant information.
Please note that this guide was written in Q3 2022, so any changes in the labor laws that were included later than that may not be included in this Utah labor laws guide.
We strongly advise you to consult with the appropriate institutions and/or certified representatives before acting on any legal matters.
Clockify is not responsible for any losses or risks incurred, should this guide be used without further guidance from legal or tax advisors.
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