In a 3-2 decision, the Utah Supreme Court has held that there is a presumption of harm for claims made under the Utah Uniform Trade Secrets Act, Utah Code § 13-24-1, et seq., and for claims for breach of a non-disclosure agreement when a former employee takes confidential information or trade secrets from her recent employer. InnoSys v. Mercer, 2015 UT 80 (Aug. 28, 2015).
Articles About Utah Labor And Employment Law.
Utah Supreme Court Highlights Importance of Disclaimers in Employee Handbooks
Guidance for employers seeking to maintain the at-will status of their employees and prevent employee handbooks and policies from becoming implied-in-fact contracts has come from the Utah Supreme Court, confirming the importance of a clear and conspicuous disclaimer prominently placed in an employee manual. Tomlinson v. NCR Corporation, 2014 UT 55 (2014). The Court also stressed that (1) the absence of a disclaimer does not automatically transform an employee manual into a contract, and (2) to be valid, the disclaimer language need not use the magic words, “at-will.”
“Utah Compromise” Prohibits Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
On March 12, 2015, Gov. Gary Herbert of Utah signed into law S.B. 296, making Utah the 22nd state to prohibit discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation and the 19th state to prohibit discrimination in employment based on gender identity (plus the District of Columbia). Called the “Utah Compromise,” the bill was supported by a large margin of Utah legislators – the majority of whom are members of the Republican Party – and leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Utah Governor Signs Landmark LGBT and Religious Expression Anti-Discrimination Bill
Utah Governor Gary Herbert (R) has signed into law a bi-partisan bill protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people from discrimination. While other states and local governments are considering similar initiatives, the Utah law is the first enacted legislation that seeks to balance LGBT rights with religious expression concerns.
Utah Federal Court Holds Same-Sex Couples Allowed to Marry
A U.S. District Court in Utah has held that “Utah’s prohibition on same-sex marriage conflicts with the United States Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process under the law. The State’s current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason.” Kitchen v. Herbert, No. 2:13-cv-217 (D. Utah Dec. 20, 2013). The Kitchen decision was issued the day after the New Mexico Supreme Court issued a similar decision. For more information, please see New Mexico Supreme Court Holds Same-Sex Couples Allowed to Marry.