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Meal and Rest Breaks
Utah employers are not required to provide meal and rest breaks for adult workers. Meal and rest breaks are required for minors. All workers under the age of 18 must receive a meal break of no less than 30 minutes, if they work more than five hours in a day. The meal break must begin at or before the fifth hour of work. Employers are also required to give minors a 10-minute rest break for every three hours of work.
FLSA-covered employers must allow a reasonable amount of break time for nonexempt employees who are nursing. The March 23, 2010 passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act created this provision with an amendment to Section 7 of the FLSA. Section 7 contains work hour provisions. Employers are not required to pay for breaks taken for lactation purposes. Utah FLSA-covered employers include those with annual receipts of $500,000 or more and those that engage in business across state lines.
Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay
The Utah Minimum Wage Law declares that Utah’s minimum wage may not exceed the FLSA minimum wage. As of July 24, 2009, Utah’s minimum wage was $7.25 per hour. Employers may pay a reduced minimum rate of $4.25 per hour to minors for the first 90 days of their employment. Utah labor law does not have a state overtime law. Instead, the Wage Claim Unit instructs employers to adhere to the FLSA guideline of 1 1/2 times the regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 per
Utah employers may apply a credit of up to $5.12 per hour toward the minimum wage of their tipped employees. The applied amount is a tip credit. The employer is required to pay the balance of the minimum wage -- $2.13 per hour -- directly to the tipped employee. A tipped employee is anyone who routinely receives tips of $30 or more per month from customers and clients for the services they provide. Each week, the employee’s direct wages combined with her tips has to equal or exceed Utah’s minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. If it does not, the employer must make up the difference.
Payment of Wages
Utah employers must establish a regular pay period and a regular payday for wages. Semimonthly is the longest allowable pay period. Employers must announce the payday and any payday changes in advance. When a payday is on a weekend or legal holiday, the funds must be available on the last business day preceding the weekend or legal holiday. Wages paid in a form other than cash -- such as a check or electronically -- must be immediately and fully convertible to cash.
Utah requires employers to pay each employee all of his wages that are due and not under dispute. Failure to honor this requirement violates Utah’s wage laws. When such a violation occurs, the Utah Wage Claim Unit has the authority to accept and pursue an employee’s wage claim complaint. The authorization includes the right for the Wage Claim Unit to engage the courts in enforcing a valid employee claim.
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