In Utah, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. UT Admin. Code R610-3-4(B)(1); UT Labor Comm. FAQs.
Neither Utah’s Legislature nor its courts have given any significant guidance regarding other potential vacation policy issues. They are silent regarding whether an employer may:
- establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment,
- deny payment for accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract is silent on the matter,
- require an employee to comply with specific requirements to qualify for payment of vacation leave upon separation from employment, such as giving two weeks notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year,
- cap the vacation leave an employee may accrued over time,
- implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.
Although Utah’s authorities are silent regarding many vacation policy issues, based on the contractual emphasis Utah has placed on vacation policies, an employer is likely free to implement the vacation policy of its choosing, including policies providing for the forfeiture of accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment. UT Admin. Code R610-3-4(B)(1). An employer is required to comply with the terms of the policy it chooses to implement. UT Admin. Code R610-3-4(B)(1).
Utah law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. UT Labor Comm. FAQs. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.
An employer in Utah may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
Utah law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. UT Labor Comm. FAQs In Utah, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays. A private employer does not have to pay an employee premium pay, such as 1½ times the regular rate, for working on holidays, unless such time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws. If an employer chooses to provide either paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.
Visit our Utah State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of Utah as well as information regarding state laws governing holiday leave for public employers and employees.
Jury Duty Leave
An employer is not required to pay an employee for time spent responding to a jury summons or serving on a jury.
An employer may not discharge, threaten, take any adverse employment action, or otherwise coerce an employee because the employee receives and/or responds to a summons, serves as a juror, or attends court for prospective jury.
An employer may not require or request an employee to use annual, vacation, or sick leave for time spent responding to a summons for jury duty, time spent participating in the jury selection process, or for time spent actually serving on a jury.
Utah law requires an employer to provide an employee with up to two (2) hours paid time off to vote if the employee does not have three (3) or more consecutive off-duty hours in which to vote while polls are open. An employer may require an employee to request voting leave at least one (1) day before the election. An employer may dictate when an employee may take paid voting leave except an employer must grant an employee’s request to take voting leave either beginning or ending of their shift.
An employer that fails to provide an employee paid voting leave as required commits a Class B misdemeanor.
Utah law does not require employers to provide employee bereavement leave. Bereavement leave is leave that is taken by an employee due to the death of another individual, usually a close relative. Employers may choose to provide bereavement leave and may be required to comply with any bereavement policy or practice it maintains.
Utah Family and Medical Leave
Utah does not have its own family and medical leave provisions for employees. However, workers in Utah have all the rights guaranteed by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). If a workplace in Utah has at least 50 employees for at least 20 weeks in either the previous or the current year, it must adhere to all provisions set out in this act.
For a worker in Utah to be eligible for this leave, they must have worked at least 12 months for the same company, worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months, and worked at the same location with a minimum of 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.
Workers in Utah may take this FMLA leave to:
- Bond with or care for a new child
- Recover from a serious health issue,
- Care for a family member with a severe health concern
- Care for qualifying emergencies that arise out of the military service of a family member
- Care for a member of the family who has incurred a severe injury during active military service
All workers in Utah are eligible for up to 12 weeks’ leave in one year for any of these reasons. As long as the worker meets eligibility requirements, this leave will renew every year.
However, if an employee takes time off to take care of a family member injured on military duty, they are entitled to up to 26 weeks off in one year.
But, unless the same member of the family is re-injured or a different member of the family suffers an injury while performing military service, the worker is not entitled to extra leave for this purpose.
Moreover, during this leave, all workers are eligible to continue paying into and receiving their healthcare insurance at the same cost they pay while at work.
This type of leave is unpaid, although some workers may be required or allowed to use accumulated paid leave. After this leave, the worker is entitled to reinstatement to the same position or, if that is not available, an equivalent position.