Utah Labor Law: What's Important?

Employee Policy Manual

Utah labor law is very clear on the subject of employment discrimination. As an employer you need to pay close attention to make sure that you do not cross over the line. Most employers will believe that they would never discriminate against anyone, especially an employee. The problem is that you may unknowingly discriminate by your actions or words. As an example, you may make a comment about a potential candidate that is overheard by your staff. The comment may be something as innocent as “She looked like she was pregnant!” Maybe you meant nothing by the comment but if you didn’t hire her someone may believe that you are against a woman that is pregnant!

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Utah Labor Law: Knowledge is Power

As you may have already guessed Utah labor law protects women against discrimination for pregnancy, childbirth, or any pregnancy related conditions. In the above example you may never have any direct negative feedback for making the overheard comment; however, you may cause a woman within your organization to be on red alert if they become pregnant. When they do and you take any negative action against them for any reason you may be faced with a claim of discrimination. An employee will have a great memory when it could impact them down the road. Therefore, keep your comments to yourself even if you think no one is listening.

How do I comply with the law so that I don’t get in trouble?

The Utah labor law follows the Anti-discrimination & Labor Division’s Employment Discrimination who is charged with administering and enforcing the Utah Anti-discrimination Act of 1965. If you’re like me all you want to know is how do I comply with the law so that I don’t get in trouble down the road! Right! It is very simple! Don’t discriminate against anyone for any reason, or give them a reason to believe you are discriminating against them! Utah labor law states that the following groups are protected; age, race, color, national origin, religion, disability, gender, and as mentioned above pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy related conditions. Please make sure you have placed your position on discrimination in your employee handbook. If you don’t have an employee handbook produce one with a reputable employee handbook templates software program! Don’t be a fool and not have one!

Although for the most part the Utah labor law allows an employer to hire anyone they wish so long as you do not discriminate against them. With the exception of making stupid and uncalled for comments you would have to struggle a great deal to violate this labor law. Let me give you another example of how stupid people can be when interviewing a potential candidate. You may get on the subject of children because the candidate brought it up. During that discussion you may inadvertently ask the candidate if they are planning on having children. Now you possessed the question because you absolutely adore children. When you don’t hire them, they may believe that it was due to them stating they wanted to have children. As innocent as it is you could be facing an investigation for discrimination! It’s that simple! Stay focused during an interview!

If you tell me that it will make it easier to terminate someone you don’t like, then you are just flat lazy and maybe border line dumb!

Utah labor law is considered an employment “at-will” state. An employment at will means that unless an employee is under a collective bargaining agreement or an employment contract an employer and hire, fire, promoted, or any other employment action with or without a reason. Of course, an employee can also leave the company without any reason as well. However, once an employer suggests that an employee will be employed unless they do something wrong the “at will” clause may go out the window! Many employers don’t want to hear this, but let’s look at it a little more clearly before we decide that we want to stick with the employment “at will” clause!

I mentioned earlier that you would be a fool to conduct and run a business without an employee handbook. I stand behind that statement and still suggest that you use an employee handbook templates software program to assist you in that process. However, some would say, and are probably more correct than not, that by having an employee handbook you throw the at will employee clause out the window. But why in the world would you want to terminate an employee if they are producing for you. If you tell me that it will make it easier to terminate someone you don’t like, then you are just flat lazy and maybe border line dumb. You certainly begin to risk the discrimination claim by terminating someone you don’t like. Almost everyone at some point in their life will fall into one of the groups of people that are protected.

Wouldn’t it make more sense if you are going to go to all the trouble, time and expense of recruiting, hiring, training, and developing a productive professional relationship with an employee to keep them around unless they are not producing or violate any of your company rules/policies? As an example, if they steal or fight, then that is cause for termination and you are protected unless you don’t document the incident! If they are not producing and are no longer a good value to your organization after you have documented an effort to correct the problem it may be time to let them go. Utah labor law should have no problem with this, again provided you have documented your efforts to correct the problem.

This is referred to as progressive discipline and should be a part of your employee handbook. Utah labor law or any state for that matter understands that as long as you do not discriminate and can provide evidence that you are treating everyone equally and fairly, they should have no problem with your employment actions. Now this is a simple article and requires much more in-depth discussion to cover any of these above subjects fully. However, this should give you a good start! Remember however, that the Employee Handbook Templates website is not a source of legal advice and should not be considered to be that at all. Our suggestion is to use a good employee handbook templates software and/or a labor law employment lawyer to assist you with all your Utah labor law issues.

Thank you and may God bless you!

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