Can A Utah Employee File for Unemployment Benefits After Signing a Severance Agreement?

Under Utah law, an employee’s right to unemployment benefits cannot be waived in a severance agreement. However, the terms of a severance agreement may affect the employee’s entitlement to unemployment benefits in several ways. Nature of Termination If the severance agreement states that the employee has resigned or that the parties have mutually agreed to…

Are You Personally Liable for Employee Wage Claims?

Many business owners and executives are surprised to learn that even if their business is a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC), they may be personally liable for wage claims filed by their employees. Federal Law Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as interpreted by federal courts, you may be personally liable…

The Basics

What is the minimum wage in Utah? $7.25, which is the same as the federal minimum wage. (Utah Admin. Code r. R610-1-3.) Is overtime required under Utah law? Overtime is not required under Utah law, except for employees who are working on state contracts. Employees working on state contracts are entitled to 1.5 times their…

Utah Supreme Court Reverses Court of Appeals, Holds that Employers May Opportunistically Terminate At-Will Employees

As reported in a prior blog “Utah Court of Appeals Holds that Following the Letter of Your Employees’ Employment Agreements May Not Be Enough” a little over a year ago, the Utah Court of Appeals held in Vander Veur v. Groove Entertainment Technologies (2018 UT App 148) that “breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair…

Class Claims Not Allowed in Arbitration Unless Expressly Authorized

Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Lamps Plus Inc. v. Varela (No. 17-988) that when an arbitration agreement covers the subject-matter of a dispute, the plaintiff’s claims may be arbitrated only on an individual basis unless the agreement expressly permits arbitration of class claims. As a practical matter, this means that most arbitration agreements also…

Tenth Circuit Employment Law Round-Up

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals* recently issued notable opinions on three topics applicable to employers.    1.      FLSA Retaliation.          In Acosta v. Foreclosure Connection, Inc., the Tenth Circuit joined several other federal circuits in holding that a retaliation claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) may succeed even if the defendant company does not fall…

Utah Court of Appeals Holds that Following the Letter of Your Employees’ Employment Agreements May Not Be Enough

On August 9, 2018, the Utah Court of Appeals held in Vander Veur v. Groove Entertainment Technologies (2018 UT App 148) that “breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing may be asserted for the limited purpose of protecting from opportunistic interference an employee’s justified expectations in receiving the fruits of a compensation agreement…

Supreme Court Declines to Review Seventh Circuit Determination that Extended Leave is not a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA

On April 2, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the decision of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc., 872 F.3d 476 (7th Cir. 2017), which held that multi-month leave is not a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The plaintiff in Severson suffered from back pain, which…