With the 2018 Utah legislative session about to begin, there are more than a few bills that Utah employers may want to keep on their radar. HB 117, for instance, seeks to increase the minimum wage to from $7.25 to $10.25 by July 1, 2018 and to $12.00 by July 1, 2022. This bill may not affect employers who have a majority of minimum wage employees who are under 16, however, as it contains a provision allowing the Utah Labor Commission to establish a separate minimum wage for minor employees.
Though HB 117 could drastically increase many employers’ payrolls, the bill would prohibit cities, towns, and counties from setting a minimum wage higher than this new amount. If HB 117 passes, Utah would be among only thirteen states with minimum wages that exceed $10.00 per hour.
Additionally, HB 118 may stretch the payroll budget for many Utah employers by increasing the hourly wage for tipped employees. Currently, the Utah Labor Commission has established the minimum wage for tipped employees at $2.13 per hour, but that may increase to $3.25 per hour if HB 118 is passed. HB 118, then, would also divest the power to set the tipped employees’ minimum wage from the Utah Labor Commission and give that power to the legislature.
Though it is impossible to determine exactly where the legislature will land on either of these bills, it is at least clear that Utah’s 2018 legislative session may force many Utah employers to reevaluate their payroll budgets.