Filing a Wage and Hour Claim – Utah
Does Utah have state overtime laws that are different from federal law?
Utah state law does not cover overtime. For that reason, only federal law applies in the state.
Does Utah have a minimum wage that is different from federal law?
Like the federal minimum wage, Utah’s minimum wage is currently set at $7.25. Utah’s minimum wage only applies to employees not covered by the federal minimum wage provision. There are nonetheless some employees in Utah who are not covered by the federal or the state minimum wage requirement:
- Outside salespersons
- Employees who are members of their employer’s immediate family
- Employees providing companionship services for persons unable to care for themselves
- Casual and domestic employees
- Seasonal employees of nonprofit camping programs, religious or recreation programs, and nonprofit educational and charitable organizations
- U.S. government employees
- Employees engaged in the range production of livestock
- Harvest laborers paid on a piece-rate basis
- Agricultural employees employed in agriculture less than 13 weeks during the preceding calendar year
- Retired or semi-retired individuals performing part-time or incidental agricultural work as a condition of their residence on a farm or ranch
- Registered apprentices and students employed by the educational institution in which they are enrolled
- Seasonal employees of seasonal amusement establishments if their total compensation, including tips, incentives, commissions, and bonuses, brings their wages up to the minimum wage, but only for establishments that do not operate for more than seven months per year or that make the vast majority of their profits in a six-month period
- Disabled individuals with impaired earning or productive capabilities, as long as their wages are related to their productivity
Minors (under 18) may be paid at a lower rate per hour per hour during the first 90 days of their employment. ($4.25)
Employers may pay tipped employees (earning at least $30 per month in tips) cash wages of $2.13 per hour, as long as this amount combined with the employee’s tips equals the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
Does Utah have meal and rest break requirements, unlike federal law?
Utah law only requires employers to provide meal and rest breaks to minors (under 18). Employers must provide minors a meal period of at least 30 minutes not later than five hours after the beginning of the workday. If the minor employee cannot be relieved of all duties and permitted to leave the work state or area, the meal period must be paid as time worked.
How do I file a wage/hour or labor standards claim in Utah?
If your employer owes you wages between $50 and $10,000, you can file a wage claim with the Labor Commission of Utah. The form is available at http://www.laborcommission.utah.gov/media/pdfs/uald/forms/Wage%20Claim%20Assignment%20Form%20-%20Revised.pdf
The Commission has the authority to investigate the claim, hold hearings, and issue orders requiring your employer to pay. If you or your employer are unsatisfied with the process, it is possible to appeal a final order to a court within 30 days of the order. In addition to obtaining the wages you are owed, the Commission can also assess a penalty against your employer, part of which will be paid to you.
What are my time deadlines?
Do not delay in contacting the Commission to file a claim. There are strict time limits in which charges of wage-and-hour violations must be filed. In order for the Commission to act on your behalf, you must file your wage claim within one year from the date your wages were due. However, as you might have other legal claims with shorter deadlines, do not wait to file your claim until your time limit is close to expiring. You may wish to consult with an attorney prior to filing your claim, if possible. Yet if you are unable to find an attorney who will assist you, it is not necessary to have an attorney to file your claim with the Commission.
How can I or my attorney pursue a claim in court in Utah?
If your employer has not paid you the minimum wage, instead of filing a wage claim with the Commission, you may bring a lawsuit against your employer in court. In addition to awarding you the wages you are owed, the court may require your employer to pay your litigation costs and attorneys’ fees. There is a two-year statute of limitations for such suits If your employer owes you wages you have earned (unrelated to the minimum wage law) you may also file a lawsuit for breach of contract instead of filing with the Commission. In that case, the court may also award you litigation costs and attorneys’ fees, but only if you make a written demand to your employer for the sum you were owed (and not greater) fifteen days prior to bringing the lawsuit. For suits brought for breach of contract, there is a six-year statute of limitations.
This material was originally prepared by attorney Joseph Jaramillo and former law clerks Keia Cole and Adam Weiss of the law firm Goldstein, Demchak Baller Borgen and Dardarian, and was updated by Professor Douglas D. Scherer, of Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. Professor Scherer also serves as the Vice President of Workplace Fairness.
© 2015 Workplace Fairness