Utah has specific paycheck laws that apply to employers, employees and independent contractors. Utah's paycheck and employment laws set forth particular mandates that need to be understood by both employers and employees.
When Must Paychecks Be Sent Out?
Utah law requires all private employers must to pay their non-salaried employees at least semimonthly. Paychecks must be distributed within 10 days of the close of each pay period or on the preceding day if a payday falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a holiday. Employees who receive a yearly salary may be paid monthly, but no later than the seventh day of the month following the one in which the pay was earned.
What Happens If You are Fired?
In Utah, when an employee is fired from their job, the unpaid wages of the employee become due immediately, and the employer must pay the employee their final paycheck within 24 hours of the time of separation. If the employer fails to do this the wages of the employee shall continue from the date of demand until paid, but in no event to exceed 60 days, at the same rate that the employee received at the time of separation. This means that the employer can be paid, even if they are not physically working, until they are given their paycheck.
The rule is different in Utah for an employee that quits. If the employee voluntarily quits their job, they would be given their paycheck on the next regular pay period.
Utah has not set any state law that determines what happens to unused vacation time when an employee is fired. When an employee is fired, any unused vacation time being paid to the employee depends on whether it was outlined in the employer’s company policy. If there is no policy around it, the employer does not have to pay the employee the vacation they did not use after termination.
Can Your Paycheck be Garnished?
An employer can only make deductions from an employee’s final paycheck that are required under federal or Utah law, such as taxes or garnishments, or deductions that the employee has specifically authorized in writing. However, Utah law limits how much creditors can garnish of your wages to repay debts like unpaid taxes, child support, or settlements. Utah wage garnishment laws are considered stricter than federal wage garnishment laws, which means that state law will control.
Under Utah law, creditors can take only up to 25% of your wages if they want to garnish your wages for unpaid debt. However, there are few types of debt, where creditors can take more. Creditors can garnish paychecks more than the limits set for the following types of unpaid debt:
- Unpaid income taxes
- Court ordered child support
- Student loans in default
Can You Recover a Withheld Paycheck?
There are no events under which an employer can entirely withhold a final paycheck under Utah law. Employers are required to pay the employee their wages due. If an employee is unable to obtain his or her final paycheck from a former employer, the employee can contact the Utah Workforce Commission, in order to file a claim against the employer.
Where Can You Find the Right Lawyer?
If your employer has withheld an amount from your final paycheck or have been denied other wage and hour benefits, a Utah employment attorney may be able to help. An experienced Utah employment lawyer will be familiar with the laws of your state and the federal laws that may govern your particular paycheck issue, and can advise you on your rights and potential remedies.