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.

Maternity Leave

The state of Utah follows the 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 child.

Women with child 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 their 40-hours on one of these days.

There are exemptions that apply to workers of 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, restaurants and office work at the age of 14. Others positions such as newspaper delivery, lawn care and baby-sitting 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 Awards 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 employees needs in work/life balance. This is done to encourage employee satisfaction and in turn create a more productive work force.

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