Wherever you do business, you’re subject to both federal laws as well as individual state requirements. This affects all areas of your business. For example, sales tax, insurance regulations, safety rules, and payroll requirements can vary greatly from state to state. If you’re starting a business in the Beehive State, one of the most important things to know is Utah payroll laws. Understanding the basics of employee rights, overtime, classification of employees and other payroll laws helps you avoid penalties and keep your business running smooth.
Utah’s Minimum Wage.
Currently (as of September 2018), the Utah minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. There is a training wage for minors under the age of 18, which is $4.25 per hour, for the first 90 days of employment. If you earn at least $30 in tips each month, your wage minimum is $2.13 per hour as long as the total of cash and tips adds up to at least $7.25 per hour.
Utah does not allow monthly payments for hourly employees. An employer must pay its employees no less frequently than semi-monthly (twice per month). Employers must designate these paydays in advance. The only exception to this rule is for yearly salaried employees. An employer may pay a yearly-salaried employee once per month.
Pay Period to Payday.
You must keep a strict calendar for your payroll calendar. Payday must be within ten days after the end of a pay period for non-salaried employees. If a payday falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the employer must pay its employees on the day preceding those days. If paying once per month, the employer must pay its yearly-salaried employees on or before the 7th day following the month in which the wages were earned.
Overtime and Breaks.
Federal law governs the right to overtime pay in Utah. The law is called the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA. The FLSA requires you be paid not less than time-and-a-half of your regular pay the hours over 40 you work in a workweek.
There are no state or federal laws that require employers to provide lunch breaks or rest periods for adult workers. Most employers still offer breaks for their employees though. However, minors under the age of 18 are entitled to a meal period of at least 30 minutes no later than five hours from the beginning of their shift. Employers must also give minors a rest break for 10 minutes every three hours.
Utah Rules require employers to pay employees for required attendance at training. If an individual employee is required to attend training and is not paid for that time, they have the right to file for the unpaid wages as they would any other unpaid wage.
Vacation, holiday pay, sick leave or severance pay.
Utah labor law does not require an employer to provide benefits to its employees. Some employers choose to establish a policy or practice of providing benefits. When they do so, they are expected to abide by their own policy. However, there are no state laws regarding these benefits.
Utah is an “employment-at-will” state. This means that an employer may generally terminate an employee at any time and for any reason. If an employee is terminated by the employer, all wages are due immediately and payable within 24 hours of separation. (Although an exemption does exist for employees of the state.) If the employee resigns, the wages become due and payable on the next regular payday. These provisions may not apply to the earnings of a sales agent earning commissions.