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Utah Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off (PTO), Vacation Days, FMLA, Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave, and Voting Leave

Table Of Contents

Last updated on January 22, 2024.

Paid Time Off (PTO) in Utah

Vacation Leave Quota 

Utah law doesn’t require employers to provide vacation leave.   

Private employers in Utah are not required to provide paid or unpaid vacation.    

Although it is not required by law, in the US, it is common for employees to receive 10 paid days off after completing one year of work. However, the amount of paid time off (PTO) can vary based on factors such as the industry, location, and the employee’s length of service with the company. 

If a company decides to provide its employees with vacation time, whether paid or unpaid, it must obey the relevant state regulations, adhere to the company’s established policies, and comply with the terms of the employment agreement. 

Accruals 

The accrual system is not required by law in Utah, but it is a common practice among many companies.  

Employers have the flexibility to create their own vacation accumulation method, which may be in weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, or monthly intervals and is typically determined by the company’s pay cycle.  

Official payroll frequencies in Utah are semi-monthly and monthly. 

The law does not define whether an employer may cap the vacation time employees may accrue over time, which means that employers are likely free to implement it. 

Roll Over (Carry Over, Brought Forward) 

A Use-It-or-Lose-It policy is permitted.   

A “use-it-or-lose-it” type of vacation leave policy requires an employee to lose any unused vacation time after a set date, usually the end of the year.   

Utah law hasn’t specifically addressed a use-it-or-lose-it policy in state statutes, which means that employers can implement it

Employers usually implement a use-it-or-lose-it vacation policy because some employees use very little PTO. Long-term employees can accrue a lot of PTO over the years, which can be quite costly if company policy requires it to be paid out on termination. Also, employers want to stimulate their employees to use their PTO regularly, because doing so keeps their health, well-being, and work efficiency in check. 

Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay 

Employers must comply with their company policy or employment agreement if they choose to provide paid vacation. 

Payment of Accrued, Unused Vacation on Termination 

Utah law has not given guidance regarding this issue, which means employers can choose and implement the vacation policy they prefer. 

Because Utah law is silent on this issue, an employer may legally establish a policy or contract that denies employees payment for accumulated vacation time upon their departure from the company. 

An employer must pay employees for any accrued, unused vacation time on termination, unless the company policy explicitly states a use-it-or-lose-it policy and that employees aren’t paid for unused leave.

Sick Leave in Utah

Federal Laws – Leave Quota 

Federal law requires 12 weeks of unpaid sick leave.    

The standard federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to Utah (as it is in all the states in the US). The leave is job-protected.  

Employees qualify for FMLA benefits only if: 

  • they have been employed for at least 12 months (at least 25 hours per week) or 1,250 hours in the previous year 
  • they work in a location where at least 50 people are employed by the company (in a 75-mile radius)        

The FMLA entitles qualified employees to take up to 12 weeks off for: 

  • personal medical reasons – illness or injury 
  • to care for a close family member (child, spouse, or parent) suffering from a severe illness 
  • maternity or paternity leave.    

Employers are free to propose additional sick leave benefits that are better than the minimum federal requirement.      

Check out our article on FMLA to learn more. 

Utah State Laws 

No additional state sick laws.    

Presently, 23 states offer paid (or unpaid) sick leave. Utah isn’t among them.    

Utah law doesn’t demand private employers to offer sick leave, paid or unpaid. However, if employers decide to offer sick days, they must stick to the provisions outlined in their established company policy or employment agreement. 

Payout 

Sick leave in Utah is unpaid.

Maternity, Paternity, FMLA in Utah

Federal Law 

12 weeks of unpaid maternity/paternity leave is provided by FMLA.       

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that allows eligible workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for family or medical reasons, including maternity or paternity leave. Unless otherwise authorized by the employer, an employee must take this leave continuously. More information about FMLA eligibility can be found above, under the section Sick Leave in Utah: Federal Laws – Leave Quota.    

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is one more federal law that protects pregnant women. According to the PDA, discrimination against pregnant people is prohibited in all areas of employment: hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, fringe benefits, training, leave, and health insurance.    

Additional State Laws in Utah 

No additional state maternity/paternity laws.   

Like many other states in the US, Utah does not mandate any kind of maternity, paternity, or parental leave, paid or unpaid.  Employees can only rely on the federal FMLA.   

However, some Utah companies have maternity and paternity leave plans. 

Payout 

Maternity or paternity leave in Utah is unpaid. 

Bereavement Leave in Utah (Funeral Leave)

An employer is not required to provide bereavement leave.      

An employer is not legally required to provide any paid or unpaid bereavement leave, or any time off to attend an immediate family member’s funeral. However, nearly all American companies, offer paid time off for bereavement, which usually lasts for up to 3 work days. Some companies are even more generous and offer a maximum of 5 or 6 days. 

Payout 

Bereavement leave in Utah is unpaid.

Jury Duty Leave in Utah

Employers must provide employees with job-protected but unpaid time off for jury duty

Employers are required to provide employees with unpaid, job-protected leave to report to jury selection or jury duty. Employees may have to show their employer their jury summons (within a reasonable time after receiving it) to be given the necessary leave. 

An employer is not allowed to force its employees to use any other type of leave (vacation time, sick leave, etc.) to cover leave taken for jury duty. 

An employer may not fire, threaten to fire, penalize, or punish the employee in any way due to their jury service. 

Payout 

The employer pays: 

Employers in Utah are not required to pay employees for jury duty leave, but most employers do it as the court compensation is rather low. 

The court pays:         

Employees who serve as jurors in Utah are paid $18.50 a day (though juror pay is only a token amount). 

Military Leave in Utah

All employers in the U.S. must comply with USERRA. Additional state laws for members of the U.S. armed forces reserves. 

Federal law 

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is a federal law that applies to employers of all sizes and types in the U.S. USERRA protects employees called to active duty in the U.S. military, including the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves, and National Guard. USERRA provides reinstatement rights, protection from discrimination, the right to continue group health care benefits for up to 24 months during their leave, and up to 5 years of unpaid leave for military service (with exceptions to this 5-year limit). 

Utah State Law 

Members of the U.S. armed forces reserves have the same benefits and protections provided by USERRA. When called to active duty, training, or state active duty, they are entitled to leave without pay, which may take up to 5 years. All reemployment rights apply to them: returning to the same job without loss of pay, status, seniority, and vacation rights. 

Payout 

Military leave in Utah is unpaid. 

Voting Leave in Utah

Up to 2 hours of paid leave on Election Day. 

An employer is obligated to provide employees with up to 2 hours of paid leave while voting polls are open for voting in a general, primary, federal, county, state, or municipal election. 

An employer is not obligated to provide this leave if an employee has 3 or more consecutive off-duty hours (before or after their shift) while polls are open. 

Employees are required to provide advance notice at least 1 day before the election. 

An employer may choose the hours when an employee leaves work to vote. Still, if the employee asks for the leave to be before or after their work shift, the employer is required to approve that request. 

Payout 

Voting leave in Utah is paid by an employer. It is not allowed for an employer to reduce an employee’s regular wages as a result of their absence.

Utah State Holidays in 2024

A leave for holidays is not required by Utah law. 

Private employers in Utah are not required to provide paid or unpaid leave for holidays. However, the majority of employers in Utah do provide at least several paid holidays. Holiday pay (“time-and-a-half,” or 150 percent of the regular rate) is also not mandated by law.    

Utah officially observes 11 state holidays.

A complete list of holidays celebrated in Utah in 2024:
Holiday Observed in 2024 General Date
New Year’s Day 2024 Monday, January 1 January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, January 15 3rd Monday in January
Washington’s Birthday Monday, February 19 3rd Monday in February
Memorial Day Monday, May 27 Last Monday in May
Independence Day Thursday, July 4 July 4
Pioneer Day (*) Wednesday, July 24 July 24
Labor Day Monday, September 2 1st Monday in September
Columbus Day Monday, October 14 2nd Monday in October
Veterans Day Monday, November 11 November 11
Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 28 4th Thursday of November
Christmas Day Wednesday, Dec. 25 December 25

(*) Pioneer Day is an official holiday only in Utah, but also holiday in some other states and regions settled by Mormon pioneers.

Holidays that fall on Saturday are observed on the prior Friday; holidays that fall on Sunday are observed on the following Monday. 

2025
Holiday Observed in 2025 General Date
New Year’s Day 2025 Wed., Jan 1, 2025 January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, January 15 3rd Monday in January

Sources

  1. Utah Quick and Easy Guide to Labor & Employment Law, https://www.bakerdonelson.com/webfiles/EZGuide/Utah_LE_Easy_Guide.pdf
  2. Utah Labor Laws in Short, https://www.upcounsel.com/utah-labor-laws
  3. The Utah Employment Law Guide, https://joinhomebase.com/state-labor-laws/utah/
  4. Payroll and Benefits Guide United States – Utah, https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/united-states-utah/
  5. Leave Laws by State and Municipality: 50-State Charts, https://www.xperthr.com/fifty-state-charts/leave-laws-by-state-and-municipality/20973/

Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.

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