This is Utah SHRM Legal-mail no. 2016-2 prepared for Salt Lake SHRM, the Human Resources Association of Central Utah (HRACU), the Northern Utah Human Resources Association (NUHRA), the Color Country Human Resources Association (CCHRA), the Bridgerland Society for Human Resource Management and Utah at-large members of the national Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
- SENATE PASSES BILL ON ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PREGNANT EMPLOYEES
- UTAH LEGISLATURE TO CONSIDER BILL LIMITING NONCOMPETES
- UTAH LEGISLATURE TO CONSIDER BILL TO BAN NONCOMPETES
- CONTACT YOUR UTAH LEGISLATORS
SENATE PASSES BILL ON ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PREGNANT EMPLOYEES: The Utah Legislature continues its annual session through March 10, 2016. The Senate has passed a bill, SB 59 sponsored by Sen. Todd Weiler of Woods Cross, that amends the Utah Antidiscrimination Act to require that an employer provide reasonable accommodations for an employee who has known limitations related to “pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related conditions.” This must be done unless the employer demonstrates it is an undue hardship, and the bill defines “undue hardship” as “an action that requires significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to factors such as the size of the entity, its financial resources, and the nature and structure of its operation.” The bill allows an employer to obtain medical certification of the need for such accommodations except regarding an employee’s need for more frequent restroom, food or water breaks or inability to lift over twenty pounds. The proposal also prohibits an employer from claiming an undue hardship exists regarding accommodations related to more frequent restroom, food or water breaks or to an employee’s inability to lift over twenty pounds. Finally, the bill also requires employers to post a notice, or include one in an employee handbook, that advises employees about their rights to such reasonable accommodations. You can read a copy of the bill here: http://le.utah.gov/~2016/bills/static/SB0059.html. The Utah House of Representatives is now considering the bill.
UTAH LEGISLATURE TO CONSIDER BILL LIMITING NONCOMPETES: A proposal before the Utah Legislature would significantly limit an employer’s ability to use noncompete agreements. HB 88 is sponsored by Republican Rep. Brian Greene of Pleasant Grove. The bill prohibits employers from enforcing agreements made with current employees in exchange for continued employment only and requires new consideration such as initial employment, wage increase or promotion. It also prohibits an employer from enforcing non-compete against employees fired without cause within one year of the date of agreement. Thus, if an employee is hired, executes an agreement, and is terminated without cause at any point in the first year of employment, the noncompete would be unenforceable. The bill prohibits employers from enforcing agreements after the expiration of the time in the agreement. Thus, if a breach is discovered outside the restriction period, it is unlikely action could be taken. Finally the bill provides for penalties against employers who unsuccessfully pursue enforcement of a non-compete agreement such as costs, attorneys’ fees and three times any actual damages suffered by the employee. This would be a deterrent to an employer seeking to enforce noncompetes. You can read a copy of HB 88 here: http://le.utah.gov/~2016/bills/static/HB0088.html.
UTAH LEGISLATURE TO CONSIDER BILL TO BAN NONCOMPETES: A different proposal before the Utah Legislature eliminates an employer’s ability to use noncompete agreements. This bill is HB 251, sponsored by Rep. Mike Schultz of Hooper, Utah. The bill basically bans noncompetes in the employment context. Specifically, it says “(1) A post-employment restriction may not include any of the following: (a) a restriction that, after termination of employment, the employee may not provide products, processes, or services that are similar to the employer's products, processes, or services or otherwise work in the same industry as the employer's for any period that extends beyond the termination of employment; (b) a restriction that, after termination of employment, the employee may not, either directly or indirectly, own an interest in an entity that provides products, processes, or services that are similar to the employer's products, processes, or services; or (c) a restriction that gives an employer the right to require an employee to solely and exclusively negotiate an extension of the employment agreement with the employer.” You can read a copy of the bill here: http://le.utah.gov/~2016/bills/static/HB0251.html.
CONTACT YOUR UTAH LEGISLATORS: The Utah Legislature opened its annual session on Monday, January 25, 2016 and runs through March 10, 2016. You can be heard on these and other issues by contacting your legislators. Click here for contact information on members of the Utah House of Representatives: http://le.utah.gov/house2/representatives.jsp. Click here for a list of Utah State Senators: http://senate.utah.gov/senators/full-roster.html.