Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tenth Circuit: Jury Got It Right---Charter School Did Not Violate Teacher's Right When It Banned Gossip and Discussions about School

In Dillon v. Twin Peaks Charter Academy, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a jury verdict against a teacher's claims of violation of her free speech and association rights by a charter school.  The teacher claimed that the charter school's ban on gossip and command "forbidding teachers from discussing school matters outside of school" were unconstitutional.  The jury rejected her case and the district court awarded the charter school its costs.  The Tenth Circuit found no harmful errors in the proceedings and affirmed the trial court's rulings and the jury verdict.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tenth Circuit: No Claim When Deputy Quit Rather than Accept Reassignment

In Lauck v. Campbell County, the Tenth Circuit upheld a district court's ruling that dismissed a case against a sheriff's department brought by a deputy after he was reassigned to the Civil Process Division.  Although the deputy claimed that his reassignment constituted a demotion, because his pay and rank were the same before the transfer, the court held that the reassignment under the facts of this case did not constitute a breach of contract, a constructive discharge without due process, or a violation of First Amendment rights.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tenth Circuit: Because Police Officer Was Given An Extensive Opportunity to Rebut Claims He Had No Complaint

In Skogen v. Overland Park, the Tenth Circuit ruled that a police officer who had been terminated for off-duty conduct had no complaint for a violation of due process because an extensive investigation was conducted before he was fired. The court also concluded that the police department had a significant interest in preserving the integrity of its police department that were served by the termination.

The Utah Compact on Immigration is Making a National Impression

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Utah Court of Appeals: An Employee Who Requested to Rescind Resignation Still Considered to Have Quit Without Good Cause

In Issa v. DWS, the Utah Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the Workforce Appeals Board which denied unemployment benefits to an employee who attempted to rescind his resignation.  The employee had resigned his employment after he was told he would be suspended for three days while the company investigated a second customer complaint.  Rather than accept the suspension, the employee told his employer that he was quitting.  Two days later, the employee told his employer that he had changed his mind, but the employer refused to accept the rescission and told him that it had accepted his resignation.  The employee argued that such a situation did not constitute quitting without good cause.  The Board disagreed and the Utah Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the Board.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tenth Circuit: Municipality Not Liable for Employing Badly Trained Forensic Expert

In Bryson v. Oklahoma City, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Oklahoma City had no liability for its failure to properly supervise and train an expert forensic chemist who had testified in a trial that DNA from the plaintiff was found on a rape victim even though the tests clearly exonerated the plaintiff. As a result of the testimony of the expert, the plaintiff had spent twenty years in prison.
      Despite the Tenth Circuit's sympathy to the plaintiff and the fact that if found "it deplorable that the conditions that led to his unjust confinement were permitted to continue for so long a time after the City was put on notice of the deficiencies in its forensic laboratory program," the court was not "persuaded . . . that it was highly predictable or plainly obvious that a forensic chemist would decide to falsify test reports and conceal evidence if she received only nine months of on-the-job training and was not supervised by an individual with a background in forensic science." Therefore, the court concluded the city was not deliberately indifferent and could not be liable for the employee's acts.

Employers Are Cutting Back on Holiday Parties

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tenth Circuit: Nurse who Resigned on Advice of Supervisor did not Have claim for Discrimination

In Chaplin v. Park Hospital District, Inc., the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a nurse who resigned her position in reliance upon her supervisor's statement that she would likely become the new Unit Coordinator could not bring claims for disability discrimination and FMLA violations because the record established that being placed in that position was not a reasonable accommodation since she could not be reassigned to it.  The court also agreed that the statement by the supervisor could not be construed as an implied contract or enforceable promise.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Utah Court of Appeals: If You're on Vacation, You Can't Get Unemployment

In Higgs v. DWS, the Utah Court of Appeals affirmed the Department of Workforce Services determination that a man who was on vacation in the U.S. Virgin Islands had fraudulently obtained unemployment benefits for the week of his vacation.  The court rejected the man's claims that his ignorance of the requirements of the statute should preclude a finding of fraud given that he had received a copy of the Claimant Guide, which detailed that a claimant must contact the Department of Workforce Services in circumstances such as his.  It also did not matter that he claimed he would have returned from vacation if he had been offered a job.

Tenth Circuit: Excluding Witness Testimony of Other Employees who Made Ageist Remarks Permissible

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Mendelsohn v. Sprint/United Management Company that the district court did not abuse its discretion when it excluded testimony of witnesses who claimed to hear ageist remarks before a RIF that included the plaintiff.  The court reasoned that because the plaintiff alleged only that her RIF was inconsistent with the RIF criteria and not that the RIF was inherently discriminatory, what other employees reported that supervisors said who were not in the plaintiff's supervisory chain was irrelevant to whether she suffered discrimination.  Accordingly, the Tenth Circuit ruled that the district court's exclusion of the witness testimony was appropriate.  An earlier appeal in the case made it all the way to the United States Supreme Court.  This decision came to the Tenth Circuit after it had been remanded back to the district court.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Work Thanksgiving Parties: Hopefully There is more Thanks and Less "Giving"

Now that we are entering the holiday season, it is important to remember that even though an employer may host an off-site holiday party, there is a potential for employer liability for improper employee activity.  Activities at employer-sponsored Thanksgiving parties have been at the center of at least two reported court cases.  In Jordan v. Alternative Resources Corporation, 458 F.3d 332 (4th Cir. 2006), for instance, an employee brought a racial discrimination and retaliation claim as a result of some activities that occurred at an "office Thanksgiving party."  Although the employer eventually won the suit, a vigourous dissent pointed to the fact that the employee was retaliated against at the party for having reported an inappropriate racially insensitive remark that had occurred some weeks before the party.  Also, in U.S. v. Rogers, 50 M.J. 805 (USAF Crim App. 1999), a lieutenant colonel was convicted of "disorderly conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces" for having fraternized and engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a lieutenant who got drunk at an off-site Thanskgiving party.

Although most employees will certainly behave appropriately, it bears noting that employers should be careful to assure that holiday parties do not foster or exacerbate any inappropriate or illegal conduct.

Happy Veterans Day!

To all those who have served our country and their families, happy Veteran's Day.  Not only have veterans contributed to all of us by willingly serving to protect our freedoms and way of life, but they are often excellent employees who are used to dealing with difficult issues calmly and quickly.  Thank you for your service.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Utah Court of Appeals: Employee Who Said He Did Not Want to Remain Employed Because of his Supervisor Quit and was not Layed Off

In Brucks v. DWS, the Utah Court of Appeals agreed with the Department of Workforce Services that an employee, who apparently was attempting to gain some concessions by approaching his field supervisor and saying he did not want to remain employed if he had to work with his immediate supervisor, had quit and was not laid off, precluding him from receiving unemployment benefits.  The employee's claim that the employer agreed to report the claim as a lay-off did not change the outcome.

Tenth Circuit States Once Again: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act Does Not Create a General Civility Code

In Musungayi v. Whirlpool Corporation, the Tenth Circuit Court once again reaffirmed the principle that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act does not create a general civility code.  The court agreed with the district court's decision that the plaintiff had not stated a claim of discrimination despite the fact that some coworkers made stray comments about "dark Africa" and occasionally got angry with the plaintiff. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Arbitration Agreement Enforceable Against Employee Despite Illegality of Provision

In Kepas v. eBay, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, with one judge dissenting, affirmed a district court's decision to compel an employee to arbitrate a dispute.  Applying California law, the Court reasoned that, although the arbitration agreement impermissably allowed the arbitration costs to be shifted to Kepas and the agreement was procedurally unconscionable, the defects were not significant enough to render the arbitration agreement unenforceable.  The dissenting judge found the former employee's argument more compelling and chided the majority for concluding that the agreement was bilateral when the agreement excepted intellectual property claims from the arbitration requirement---a carve out that would exempt most claims brought by eBay from being arbitrated.

Friday, October 29, 2010

An Older Employee Must Demonstrate that He or She Was Replaced by a Younger Person to Sustain an Age Discrimination Claim

In Kosak v. Catholic Health Initiatives, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed judgment against a woman who claimed she was discriminated against because of her age.  Despite the woman's arguments to the contrary, the Tenth Circuit reaffirmed that "an ADEA plaintiff must ordinarily show that her position was filled by a younger person in order to make a prima facie case of discrimination." 

Claims under Utah Whistleblower Act Must be Filed Within 180 Days or They Are Barred

In Thorpe v. Washington City, the Utah Court of Appeals declared that an employee who failed to file a complaint in a court raising his Utah Protection of Public Employees Act ("Whistleblower Act") claims within 180 days was barred.  The employee attempted to circumvent the requirements of the Whistleblower Act by claiming that a Notice of Claim filed pursuant to the Governmental Immunity Act of Utah should be considered a "civil action" that was required to be filed by the Whistleblower Act.  Instead, the Court reaffirmed and clarified that for a party to file a claim under the Whistleblower Act against a governmental entity, it must comply with the Notice of Claim requirements of the Governmental Immunity Act and the 180 day requirement of the Whistleblower Act.  "It follows that the plaintiff must submit the notice of claim before the elapse of 120 days from the date of the alleged [Whistleblower Act] violation so that, after governmental either denies or fails to approve the notice of claim within 60 days, the plaintiff may still file a timely complaint within the . . . 180-day statutory period." 

The Court of Appeals also rejected the employee's claim that he could bring an action in the district court regarding his termination without first appealing the decision of the city's employee board of appeals to the Utah Court of Appeals.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Former KMart Store Manager Did Not Suffer Discrimination

In Gardner v. Sears Holding Corporation, the Tenth Circuit upheld a trial court's order granting summary judgment against a man who claimed he was discriminated against on the basis of his age and race when his employment was terminated.  The court ruled that because "Kmart had established legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for reprimanding Mr. Gardner by documenting the poor conditions of his store and the compliants of his employees," the manager's claims of race and age discrimination could not withstand summary judgment.

Employee's Failure to Identify that Her Termination was a Result of Discrimination Defeated her Discrimination Claim

In Logdson v. Turbines, Inc., the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a former employee who filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC that contended she had been discriminated against when she was demoted, was not promoted, and was disciplined did not preserve her claims of discriminatory termination.  The court ruled that "it was not reasonable to expect the EEOC to investigate her discharge as discriminatory or retaliatory based solely on the prior, 'remote' reference to the discharge in [a later submitted document]."  Because she failed to raise the issue with the EEOC, her discrimination claim was dismissed.

Unemployment Benefits Recipient Did Not Unreasonably Reject Offer to Work only Two Day of Work

The Utah Court of Appeals ruled that a laid-off employee could not be denied unemployment benefits even though she rejected an offer to work at her former employer for at least two days with an offer to work more if the work existed.  The Court stated in Duong v. DWS that "the decision of the Board disqualifying Duong from benefits based upon a refusal [in this circumstance] . . . 'exceeds the bounds of reasonableness and rationality.'"

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Employee who Admitted Misconduct and that He had No Evidence of Discriminatory Intent Had No Discrimination Claim

In Hall v. Interstate Brands Corporation, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals---the federal appellate court having jurisdiction over Utah---recently ruled that a district court correctly dismissed an employee's discrimination claim against his employer when the employee admitted that he had engaged in misconduct and conceded that there was no evidence other than his own personal belief that the discipline imposed upon him was imposed based on his race.  The Tenth Circuit also affirmed the district court's conclusion that limited, isolated incidents of inappropriate conduct did not create a hostile work environment.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Employees Who Received Payments Pursuant to an Equity Participation Program Must Pay Them Back to Bankruptcy Trustee

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in In re Dittmer that employees who received $34,556 each in payment for their stock appreciation rights (SARs) must return to their employer's bankruptcy trustee all of the money they received because the SARs were payments from the bankruptcy estate.  The employees had argued that the payments were not property of the bankrutpcy estate because the payments were entirely dependent upon the economic decisions of the employer.  The Court rejected the argument because the pre-bankruptcy contract required a payment to them if a certain event occurred.  Accordingly, the Court stated that the obligation existed before the employer filed for bankruptcy.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Utah Valley State College and Two Administrators Should Have Been Dismissed from Suit

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals---the federal appellate court having jurisdiction over Utah---reversed a district court decision that allowed a former instructor at Utah Valley State College (UVSC) to remove his Age Discrimination in Employment Act and civil rights complaints to state court.  In Helmick v. UVSC, the Tenth Circuit ruled that once the trial court concluded that the defendants were immune from suit by the 11th Amendment and that two UVSC administrators were qualifiedly immune, the Court should have dismissed the case instead of allowing the plaintiff to remove the case to a state trial court

Monday, August 30, 2010

Former CEO not Entitled to Indemnification at this Point

In Flood v. ClearOne Communications, Inc., the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals---the appellate court having jurisdiction over Utah----overruled a Utah district court judges decision that an employer was required to continue to pay its former CEO's criminal defense costs.  The district court had concluded that the agreement that the former CEO and ClearOne had reached must be interpreted to require indemnification because otherwise the contract was illusory.  The district court therefore forced ClearOne to pay 60% of the CEO's defense cost and pay the other 40% in to an escrow account for later payment if the Court determined the fees were reasonable.  The Tenth Circuit disagreed with the district court, saying that the contract was not illusory and ,even if it were, the district court should have refused to enforce it rather than force ClearOne to abide by it.  It therefore reversed the district court's decision.  The Tenth Circuit left open the question as to whether the district court could later enter a new order requiring indemnification.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Demoted School Administrator Age Discrimination Claim Should Not Have Been Dismissed

In Jones v. Oklahoma City Public Schools, the Tenth Circuit---the federal appellate court having jurisdiction over Utah--- overruled the decision of the trial court dismissing the claims of a school administrator for having too weak of a case of discrimination.  Although the trial court ruled that the administrator had presented evidence of discrimination, it ruled that the evidence was just not strong enough.  The Tenth Circuit rejected the analysis and explained that the administrator "was under no obligation to provide additional evidence of age discrimination" and should have been permitted to present her case to a jury.

Public Employer Not Immune From Suit for Firing for a Claim that He Was Fired for Losing A Defamation Claim

On August 24, 2010, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals---the federal court having jurisdiction over Utah---ruled in Deutsch v. Jordan that a sheriff could continue in his claims against a city manager for firing him for what she claimed was his false testimony in a private law suit he brought against a citizen.  The private citizen had claimed that the sheriff had misappropriated money to purchase a laptop computer.  After making the accusation, the sheriff brought a claim of defamation against the citizen in small claims court.  The sheriff lost the case and afterward was fired by the city manager for alleged false statements made in the court proceeding. 

The sheriff then brought a claim against the city manager for violation of his first amendment right to free speech.  The city manager claimed that the sheriff's testimony in trial was not protected speach and that, even if it were, she was entitled to immunity from suit.  The Tenth Circuit rejected both arguments and affirmed the district court's determination that the sheriff could continue with his claim against the city manager.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Utah Court of Appeals Upholds Workers Compensation Decision Allowing Surgery

On August 19, 2010, the Utah Court of Appeals upheld the Utah Labor Commission Appeals Board's order affirming a decision permitting a surgery that was required after an employee suffered an industrial injury.  In Resort Retainers v. Labor Commission, the Court of Appeals ruled that Labor Commission Appeals Board had not erred when it affirmed the ALJ's decision to allow the petitioner to file a doctor's opinion late in the proceeding and the ALJ's decision to refer the matter to a medical panel, and when the Appeals Board affirmed the medical panel recommended surgery.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sleeping on the Job Constitutes Good-Cause for Termination

In Williams v. Solvay Chemicals Inc., the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal court having jurisdiction over Utah, ruled that an employee who was terminated for sleeping on the job did not have a claim against his employer even thought he had an employment contract that only allowed for termination for good cause.  The court, applying Wyoming law, ruled that the company had a good faith belief that the employee could be terminated for sleeping on the job and that the stated reason for the termination was "applied in good faith." 

Union Fairly Represented Union Employee in Grievance Hearing

The Tenth Circuit ruled in an unpublished decision today that a union member did not have a claim against his union for violating the duty of fair representation.  In Menges v. ABF Freight System, Inc., the court ruled that, although the union agent representing an employee in a grievance hearing after the employee was terminated may have had a grudge against the employee, the agent acted reasonably in the representation.  The court dismissed the employee's claims that the agent attempted to sabotage his case, that the agent failed to present certain evidence, and that the agent failed to keep out certain evidence presented by the employer.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Are You Verifying Employment Eligibility?

As of July 1st, all employers who employ more than fifteen employees are required to register with a "status verification system," or an E-Verify system operated by the federal government to verify the federal legal working status of any individual who is a newly hired employee.  The requirement is a provision found in Senate Bill 251 which was passed by the legislature in its last legislative session.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Public Employee Threatening Life of Police Chief Justifiably Terminated

In Turner v. Lone Peak Public Safety District, the Utah Court of Appeals upheld the rather uncontroversial determination of a local government entity appeals board that an employee's threat to kill his boss, the police chief, justified his termination.  The fact that the employee was under the influence did not excuse the threat nor did the fact that the threat occurred in a private call with the employee's ex-wife.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Two-Member NLRB Did Not Have Authority to Issue Decisions.

The United States Supreme Court ruled on June 17, 2010, in New Process Steel L.P. v. NLRB, that as of December 31, 2007, when there were no longer three members of the NLRB, the NLRB lacked authority to act as a Board.  In ruling as it did, the Court stated that it "was not insensitive to the Board's understandable desire to keep its doors open despite vacancies," but nonetheless ruled that "[i]f Congress wishes to allow the Board to decide cases with only two members, it can easily do so."

A Governmental Entity's Audit of Text Messages was Reasonable Despite Assumption that Text's were Private.

On Thursday, June 17, the United States Supreme Court upheld the discipline of a police officer for sending personal and some sexually explicit text messages on a city provided pager.  In Ontario v. Quon, the Supreme Court assumed without holding that the police officer had a reasonable expectation of privacy in his text messages.  It did so given its explicit hesitancy to answer the question because of "[r]apid changes in the dynamics of communications and information transmission."  In any event, the Court concluded that despite the assumed privacy expectation, the City had reasonably searched the texts because (1) the stated basis for the search---to determine the reasonableness of the text character limitations---was justified at its inception, (2) the investigator had only reviewed the officer's texts sent while on duty, and (3) it was reasonable for the officer to expect that his texts would be subject to audit given his role as a police officer.

Monday, May 24, 2010

United States Supreme Court Concludes that Every Time a Discriminatory Practice is Used, it Gives Rise to Discrimination Claim

In a decision issued May 24, 2010, the United States Supreme Court ruled that, in claims of disparate impact, every time a discriminatory practice is used a new cause of action arises, even if the decision establishing that practice was made after the statute of limitations has run.  Justice Scalia, writing the opinion for the Court in Lewis v. Chicago, declared that, although the Court had ruled in a seemingly contrary fashion for disparate-treatment claims, the result was required by the statutory language, which expressly give a cause of action against an employer who "uses a particular employment practice that causes a disparate impact."  The decision was unanimous.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Utah Health Care Facilities Not Immune for Negligently Credentialing Their Doctors

On May 14, 2010, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that Utah health care facilities are not immune from claims brought by patients against them asserting that the facilities were negligent when they credential doctors or health care professionals at their hospitals.  In Archuleta v. St. Mark's Hospital, the Court stated that "negligent credentialing is 'simply the application of broad common law principles of negligence,' and is a natural extension of torts such as negligent hiring."

Employers May Be Protected by Workers Compensation Decisions, But Third Parties Are Not.

The Utah Supreme Court ruled on Friday, May 14, 2010, that a workers compensation decision holding that a worker's injuries were not caused by the operation of a machine could not be used by by the party that created or designed the machine in a later lawsuit if that party was not the worker's employer.  The court reasoned in Gudmundson v. Del Ozone that because the third-party could not be a party to the workers compensation claim under the statutory scheme, it should not benefit by the decision.  The court explained that such a decision would not promote judicial efficiency since a worker could not as a practical matter bring the third party into the workers compensation case and, therefore, to bring its claims against the third parties would have to assert the claims in a separate proceeding.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Airline and Railroad Companies Subject to New Rule.

The National Mediation Board announced today that it would recognize an airline or a railroad union if a simple majority of ballots cast in an organizing election supported organizing a union.  This Final Rule reverses an earlier rule that required a majority of the entire work force to favor unionizing.  This is a major change that could have a substantial impact on the number of workplaces that will become unionized in these industries.  The Board approved the change by a 2-1 vote with the Chair filing a stongly worded dissent.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Are You Ready for May 11, 2010? New Laws Affecting Utah Employers.

The 2010 legislative sessions saw a lot of activity affecting employers and employees. Approximately fifty newly enacted laws will have some affect on employers and employees.  With only two or three exceptions, all of these laws become effective May 11, 2010.  (For a complete list of all the bills passed and their effective dates click here.)

A number of bills passed that added new elements to employee drug testing and background checking policies:
 A number of laws relate to immigration issues:
There were amendment to the statutes governing unemployment:
There were amendments to the statutes governing workers' compensation:
Several pieces of legislation related to health insurance, underprivileged individuals, and individuals with disabilities:
A number of bills passed that modified and changed the licensing requirements for different professionals.
 There were several significant bills that affected public employees benefits.
There were also statutes that applied generally to public entities:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Requiring Specific Employee Dress is Not Equivalent to Requiring a Uniform

On April 29, 2010, the Utah Court of Appeals in Juricic v. Autozone, Inc., clarified that an employer may require a certain dress standard, including specifying the colors of shirts and pants to be worn at work, without such a requirement being considered a uniform. This is significant because it forecloses an employer from being required to reimburse employees for the purchase of such clothing under the Labor Commission's regulations. Specifically, the regulation states as follows: "Where the wearing of uniforms is a condition of employment, the employer shall provide the uniforms free of charge." Utah R. Admin. R610-3-21(A). The Court's ruling affirmed an earlier decision that Autozone, Inc., did not need to reimburse its former employee for ten years worth of clothing he purchased to comply with the dress code.

Friday, April 23, 2010

EMPLOYERS BEWARE! New Case Expands Employee Protection and Claims Substantially

On April 23, 2010, the Utah Supreme Court substantially expanded the rights of employees to bring claims for emotional distress against former employers. In Cabanese v. Thomas, the Court ruled that the date the statute of limitations is triggered is "at the time the last injury occurred or the tortious conduct ceases." Accordingly, in repeated conduct cases, an employee can bring a claim for all conduct arising before the last event.

Moreover, the Court expanded the scope of recoverable damages by ruling that emotional distress and mental anguish damages are properly given in breach of employment contract cases when the contract (or employee handbook language) contemplates that an employee might suffer that type of injury when certain conduct occurs---such as when the handbook provides that the employer will not tolerate harassment.

Finally, the Court narrowly construed broad disclaimer language found at the beginning of the handbook that purported to disclaim contractual liability.

All employers should take a close look at their policies and amend them to limit their liability in light of this case.

Return of the Long Absent Employment Lawyer

To all my readers:

Please excuse my absence for the past few months. Unfortunately, I have been heavily involved in litigation, etc., and have not had time to pay attention to my blog. I will now return my attention to it.

Look for more frequent updates

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bills to Be Considered by the Utah Legislature

The Utah legislature will be in general session beginning January 25, 2010. It will be considering several bills that may have an impact on employers and employees throughout the state. To date the following bills have been introduced in the House:

House Bills:

H.B. 11, Licensing of Elevator Contractors and Elevator Mechanics. The bill provides for the licensing of elevator contractors and mechanics and continuing education requirements to retain licensure.

H.B. 17, Amendments to Programs for People with Disabilities. The bill modifies the Utah State Personnel Management Act to allow for the competitive career service schedule to include positions filled through an on-the-job examination intended to appoint a qualified person with a disability.

H.B. 18, Unemployment Insurance Amendments. The bill modifies the definition of the base period for qualification for unemployment insurance benefits.

H.B. 20, Amendments to Health Insurance Coverage in State Contract. This bill amends existing statutes that requires contractors with certain state entities to provide health insurance to their employees by, among other things, requiring waiting periods for coverage to be less than 90 days, clarifying that to be covered the employees or dependents must live in Utah, clarifying that the health insurance coverage required is a minimum standard, and defining what constitutes qualified health insurance coverage.

H.B. 23, Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing. The bill amends statutory requirements for employer drug and alcohol testing, including provisions related to employer liability.

H.B. 27, Per Diem and Travel Expense Modifications. The bill modifies per diem and travel expense language used for boards, commissions, councils, and committees.

H.B. 28, Controlled Substance Database Amendments. This bill amends provisions requiring an individual who is licensed to prescribe a controlled substance or applying for a license to register to use the database and take tests related to the database.

H.B. 37, Criminal Background Checks on Motor Vehicle Dealers and Salespersons. This bill will require all applicants for a motor vehicle dealer or salesperson license to submit to a criminal background check.

H.B. 41, Constable Amendments. This bill amends what constables political subdivisions may hire.

H.B. 42, School District Employees - Career Status Requirements. This bill modifies the Utah Orderly School Termination Procedures Act regarding requirements for school district employees to obtain career status. It allows school districts to determine whether career status can be obtained after three, four, or five years.

H.B. 43, Unemployment Compensation Amendments. This bill modifies provisions in the Employment Security Act regarding the computation of benefits and the offset of Social Security benefits.

H.B. 51, Family Employment Program - Cash Assistance to Single Minor Parent. This bill modifies cash assistance to single minor parent provision of the Family Employment Program.

H.B. 73, Utah Construction Trades Continuing Education Amendments. This bill modifies the continuing education requirements for the construction trades.

H.B. 199, Municipal Clerk and Recorder Responsibilities. This bill allows legislative bodies of town to establish a director of finance position.

H.B. 211, Continuing Education Requirements for Landscape Architects. This bill provides that a landscape architects complete continuing education requirements.

H.B. 215, Amendments to Public Employees' Benefit and Insurance Program Act - Risk Pools. This bill amends the number of eligible full-time enrollees an institution of higher eduction must have in order to participate.

House Resolutions:

H.J.R. 3, Joint Resolution on Teacher Performance Pay. The resolution recommends that performance pay or differentiated pay plans for public school teachers be developed using guiding principles.