Utah Law Update

Veterans Preference to Spouses

On April 1, 2019, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed legislation (S.B. 221) permitting private employers who provide a veterans preference to also apply it to veterans’ spouses. If the applicant is a veteran’s spouse, the employer may require that the spouse submit the veteran’s discharge document.

The law is effective May 14, 2019.

Read UT S.B. 221

Medical Cannabis Act Amendments

On March 26, 2019, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed legislation (S.B. 161) amending many provisions related to the Utah Medical Cannabis Act. The following provisions are generally or specifically related to the workplace:

·         Provides an exception allowing certain medical professionals to recommend medical cannabis before qualified medical provider registration is available;

·         Clarifies an exception to an employment protection regarding a public employee’s lawful use of medical cannabis in the context of certain positions related to federal requirements;

·         Requires a state or political subdivision employer to provide a written notice to an employee or prospective employee whose assignments or duties under the state’s medical cannabis programs may violate federal law;

·         Provides that a public employee who signs a notice regarding assignments or duties that may violate federal law may not subsequently rely on state whistleblower protections to refuse to carry out an assignment or duty that may violate federal law;

·         Requires the Utah Department of Human Resource Management to create and publish a form notice for public employees regarding the employees’ involvement in the state’s medical cannabis programs;

·         Allows a certain insurer to issue workers’ compensation insurance coverage for an employer that is a cannabis production establishment or a medical cannabis pharmacy; and

·         Allows a certain workers’ compensation insurer to issue coverage to a cannabis production establishment or a medical cannabis pharmacy.

The law became effective March 26, 2019.

Read UT S.B. 161

Emergency Services Volunteer Employment Protection Act

On March 22, 2019, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed legislation (H.B. 173) creating the Emergency Services Volunteer Employment Protection Act. The legislation:

·         Defines terms;

·         Prohibits an employer from terminating an employee for being an emergency services volunteer;

·         Permits an employer to request written verification that an employee missed work to respond to an emergency as an emergency services volunteer; and

·         Creates a civil cause of action for violation of the act.

The law is effective May 14, 2019.

Read UT H.B. 173

 

UtahAmanda S