When a job ends, whether because of a layoff or resignation, it is important to know the laws for when an employer should pay your final paycheck. Because most employees rarely go through this process, there is often confusion about what employers must do.
In public and private places of employment across Utah, from Salt Lake City to St. George, state law governs almost everything regarding how wages are paid. Utah law provides the timeframes for paying final paychecks as well as the possible penalties for employers if they break these laws.
In Utah, when an employee is fired, employers are required to pay their final paycheck within 24 hours. This final paycheck must include all unpaid wages due to the employee at the time. The employer may make payment by mail (with a postmark no more than one day after the employee is laid off), by direct deposit, or by hand delivery.
If you lose your job as the result of an industrial dispute, your employer must pay the final paycheck at the next regularly scheduled payday.
If you quit your job in Utah, your employer must pay the final paycheck for all unpaid wages at the next regular payday.
There is an exception to this rule for sales agents who are employed on a commission basis. The timeframe will not apply where any unpaid commission owed can only be calculated after the relevant sales or accounts have been audited or verified.
If you are laid off and your employer fails to pay the final paycheck within the 24-hour timeframe, you should make a written demand. According to Utah law, if your employer still does not pay the wages within 24 hours, your wages will be paid at the same rate as before you left until the employer pays, or until 60 days have passed. You can file a civil action to recover the wages and penalty, but it must be commenced within 60 days of leaving the company.
These timeframes and issues can rapidly become complicated, and you may need a labor and wage lawyer to help navigate the requirements and explain your options.
If you are leaving a company, it’s important to be sure your final paycheck includes any unpaid wages that you are owed. Utah law says that an employer can only hold back a part of a paycheck in accordance with a court order, a state or federal law, or if the employee has expressly consented to the deduction in writing. This could include, for example, making 401k contributions or paying into a regular savings plan.
Have you been discriminated against by a potential or current employer — either as a job applicant or current employee? To best protect your legal rights, you should discuss your situation with an employment lawyer. An attorney can help you determine what your options are for seeking justice and level the playing field against corporate lawyers. Meet with a local wage and hour attorney sooner rather than later to protect your rights.
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