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Discipline and termination

State procedures Are there state-specific laws on the procedures employers must follow with regard to discipline and grievance procedures? Utah has no law governing private employers with regard to discipline and grievance procedures.

At-will or notice At-will status and/or notice period? Utah is an at-will state, so all employees who are employed for an indefinite period are presumed to be employees at will.

What restrictions apply to the above? At-will status may be modified by an express or implied contract. Employee handbooks, personnel policies, oral statements and a course of conduct may modify the at-will relationship or otherwise create contractual liability for an employer (Wood v. Utah Farm Bureau, 19 P.3d 392 (Utah Ct. App. 2001)). An employer’s right to discharge an employee at-will is also limited by Utah public policy, as a wrongful termination claim may exist should a discharge violate public policy based on the Utah Constitution, statutes, or common law (Peterson v. Browning, 832 P.2d 1280 (Utah 1992)).

Final paychecks Are there state-specific rules on when final paychecks are due after termination? When an employee is terminated by the employer, all wages are due immediately, and are payable within 24 hours of termination. The 24-hour requirement is met if the employer:

  • mails the wages to the employee with a postmark dated no more than one day after the date of termination;
  • hand delivers the wages to the employee; or
  • initiates a direct deposit of the wages into the employee’s account within 24 hours of the termination.

Failure to pay wages due within 24 hours of written demand results in the employee continuing to earn wages (at the same rate as when terminated) until paid, or for 60 days, whichever comes first.

When an employee quits or resigns employment and has no written contract for a definite period, all wages must be paid on the next regular payday.