Utah Termination (with Discharge) laws & HR compliance analysis

Utah Termination (with Discharge): What you need to know

Utah is an “employment-at-will” state. This means that an employer may generally terminate an employee at any time and for any reason, unless a law or contract provides otherwise. For example, a federal or state law, collective bargaining agreement, or individual employment contract may place limitations on an otherwise at-will relationship.
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As a general rule, if a federal, state, or local law grants employees the right to engage in an activity or to enjoy a benefit, employees should never be disciplined, discharged, or otherwise retaliated against for requesting or attempting to do so.
To list a few key examples, state law prohibits employers from discharging employees for engaging in the following activities:
Garnishment. No employer may discharge an employee because his or her earnings have been garnished in connection with a judgment (UT Code Sec. 70C-7-104).
Genetic testing. Under Utah’s Genetic Testing Privacy Act,, generally, in connection with hiring, promoting, or retaining an individual, an employer may not:
• Access or take into consideration private genetic information about the individual;
• Request or require an individual or his or her blood relative to submit to a genetic test;
• Request or require an individual to consent to a release for the purpose of accessing private genetic information; or
• Inquire into or otherwise take into consideration an individual's taking or refusing to take a genetic test (UT Code Sec. 26-45-103).
Internet privacy. Under the Internet Employment Privacy Act (IEPA), employers may not discharge employees because they do not disclose user names and passwords that allow access to their personal Internet accounts (UT Code Sec. 34-48-101 et seq.).
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