Utah has enacted a new law that provides immunity for certain types of employers that hire employees with a criminal background. The new law will automatically expire on July 1, 2025.
Senate Bill 95 applies to employers with one or more employees in an industry or a business related to auto repair and maintenance; construction; culinary arts; manufacturing; oil, gas, or mining; retail sale of goods or services; or transportation of freight, merchandise, or other property by a commercial vehicle.
The law covers workers hired for pay but excludes independent contractors.
Limited Hiring Liability:
The law helps shield employers from negligent hire claims based solely on the evidence that the hired worker was previously convicted of an offense in Utah or another jurisdiction.
This protection does not apply for claims where an employer:
- Knew, or should have known, about a worker's prior conviction, and the employer's hiring or continuing employment of that worker violated state or federal law or constituted willful misconduct or gross negligence; or
- Hires a worker previously convicted of an offense involving fraud or the misuse of funds when it's foreseeable that the role would involve managing funds or property, and the hiring results in the misuse of funds or property of a person other than the employer.
Employers in Utah should review their hiring practices to ensure compliance with Senate Bill 95.