In Utah, employers must follow strict deadlines for paying an employee who is terminated or quits. Failing to follow these deadlines can result in penalties.
An Employee Who Is Terminated or Laid Off
Under Utah law, when an employer fires or lays off an employee, any unpaid wages become due immediately, and the employer must pay the wages within 24 hours of the time of separation. An employer can satisfy this 24-hour requirement by:
- Mailing the wages to the employee with a postmarked date that is within 1 day of the separation;
- Initiate a direct deposit into the employee’s account within 24 hours; or
- Hand deliver the wages to the employee within 24 hours.
If an employee demands unpaid wages from an employer in writing, then if the employer doesn’t pay the wages within 24 hours, then a penalty will apply. The employer owes the employee wages from the date of the demand for up to 60 days, at the same rate of pay the employee received when she or he was terminated or laid off.
In most cases, this law doesn’t apply to the commission portion of an employee’s compensation.
An Employee Who Quits
When an employee quits or resigns, an employer in Utah must pay any unpaid wages or deposits by the next regular pay day. The law doesn’t provide any penalties for failure to pay upon resignation.
Note that these laws do not apply to an employee of government or to employees in agriculture or household domestic workers. They also don’t apply if you have a written employment contract that requires something different.
How to Get Your Earned Wages and Any Penalties
If your employer has terminated you or laid you off and not paid your wages, then you can file a lawsuit to recover the wages and penalty if the amount owed to you is more than $10,000, or if the claim is combined with other legal claims you have or the wage claim of a co-worker. You must file a lawsuit within 60 days of your separation, and you must first make a written demand for the wages to be eligible for the penalty.
We can help recover your wages and the penalty if the total amount is more than $10,000. In some cases, the Court may also require your employer to cover your attorney’s fees. Complete the form below to request a consultation.
If your claim is between $50 and $10,000, then you must file a wage claim with the Utah Labor Commission, which will investigate the claim and seek to obtain the wages owed to you. You must file a wage claim with the Commission within 1 year of when the wages were earned. The Commission may assess a penalty of 5% of unpaid wages (for up to 20 days) and will keep half of that penalty to cover costs.
You can’t file a lawsuit without first allowing the Commission to complete its process. Because you have to exhaust the process with the Commission first, and you must file a lawsuit within 60 days, in practice this means you won’t have time to file a lawsuit unless your employer owes you more than $10,000.
Case Evaluation Form
Please submit your information in the form below if you’d like us to review your case and discuss options for representation. We can only help if it’s been more than two weeks since you should have been paid and the total amount owed (pay + penalty) is more than $10,000.
If you have any documents you’d like us to review, then please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. If for any reason the form doesn’t work, you can send your information to that same e-mail address. We look forward to speaking with you.