Utah Labor Laws

Utah is a beautiful state to live and work in. When it comes to work there are two agencies that oversee labor laws. The Department of Workforce Services handles government assistance programs such as unemployment benefits and food stamps; in addition, they run programs aimed at getting individuals back into the workforce. The Utah Labor Commission is the agency charged with governing most of the state’s labor laws.

Utah Labor Law Breaks

For workers under the age of 18, a lunch break of at least 30 minutes must begin no later than five hours into the workweek. Additionally, they must receive a 10-minute rest break after every four hours of labor and are not permitted to work for more than three hours straight without one.

Regarding rest periods for employees above the age of 18, Utah abides by federal law by default. Only if it lasts less than 20 minutes must a meal break be paid if an employer wishes to offer one. As long as the employee is entirely relieved of all obligations, breaks longer than 30 minutes are considered meal intervals and do not require payment.

Maternity Leave

The state of Utah follows federal laws for maternity leave. Under federal law, pregnancy is defined as a temporary disability. Should you become pregnant you are treated the same as someone who has become temporarily disabled.

While pregnant, yet still on the job, your employer must accommodate your position by offering lighter duty, modified working conditions, or any other accommodations within reason. You can not be terminated because you are pregnant, or because of any limitations that arise from being with a child.

Women with children are entitled to 12 weeks of job-protected, yet unpaid leave. In order to get paid time off, you will need some sort of outside insurance, either provided by you or your employer, or you may use any accrued sick or vacation pay.


In regards to overtime, Utah follows the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Labor’s fair labor standards act. The act states that a person who works over 40 hours in a given week must be paid at a rate that is no less than one and a half times their normal rate. A person is not paid overtime for working on Saturdays, Sundays, or any other holiday unless an employee happens to go over 40 hours on one of these days.

There are exemptions that apply to workers in certain industries. These include, but are not limited to, agriculture workers, commissioned employees, as well as some retail employees. For a full list of exemptions and to discuss your personal situation contact a lawyer, or your local labor commission.

Work for Minors

Minors can join the workforce in non-hazardous positions such as retail, restaurant, and office work at the age of 14. Other positions such as newspaper delivery, lawn care, and babysitting can be performed at an even younger age.

Employers are able to hire minors without a permit in the state of Utah, though it is assumed they will comply with all regulations. These regulations include not exposing minors to hazardous positions and observing break stipulations (i.e. a ten-minute break for every three hours worked, and a 30-minute break for every 5-hours worked).

If a unique situation does arise that may see a minor working in ways that fall outside of restrictions, an application can be made for a special permit. An example of this situation would be for child actors.

Utah Work/Life Awards

The Utah Work/Life Award is an innovative award that is only given in Utah. It is given annually to companies of different sizes that demonstrate an awareness of their employee’s needs in work/life balance. This is done to encourage employee satisfaction and in turn, create a more productive workforce.

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