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When a job comes to an end, whether because of a lay off or because you resigned, it is important to know the rules on when an employer should pay your final paycheck. Most of us only go through this process occasionally and so there is often confusion about what an employer is legally obliged to do.
In public and private workplaces across Utah, from Salt Lake City to St. George, state law governs almost everything to do with how wages are paid. It provides the timeframes for paying final paychecks, and explains the possible penalties for employers if they break these rules.
In Utah, when an employer lays off an employee, they must pay their final paycheck within 24 hours. This final paycheck must include all unpaid wages due to the employee at the time. Payment can be made by mail (with a postmark no more than one day after the employee is laid off), by direct deposit, or by hand delivery.
There are special rules for when an employee loses their job as the result of an industrial dispute. If this is the reason why an employee’s job has ended, an employer must pay their final paycheck at the next regular scheduled payday.
If you quit your job in Utah, an employer must pay the final paycheck for all unpaid wages at the next regularly scheduled 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.
When an employee is laid off and their employer fails to pay the final paycheck within the 24 hour timeframe, the employee should make a written demand. If an employer still does not pay the wages within 24 hours, Utah law says that wages will continue to be paid at the same rate as before leaving until the employer pays, or until 60 days have passed. An employee can file a civil action to recover the wages and penalty. This must be commenced with 60 days of leaving the company.
These timeframes and issues can rapidly become complicated, and a wage and hour attorney might be best placed to navigate the requirements and explain your options.
As they depart a company, many employees will want to be sure that their final paycheck includes all unpaid wages owed to them. 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.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified wage and hour lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local wage and hour attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.