Utah recently enacted a law that bars suits against an employer for negligently hiring employees with criminal records. The immunity only extends to employers in particular industries. The immunity, which is effective for the limited period of May 4, 2022, through July 1, 2025, only protects against claims of negligent hiring. Gross negligence, willful conduct, or claims based on a showing that the employer knew of the conviction prior to hire are not barred by the new law. Also exempted are cases where the prior conviction involved a financial crime and the employee was hired into a position where it was reasonably foreseeable that the employee would be managing money or property.
The industries covered by the new law are:
- Automotive repair and maintenance
- Culinary arts
- Oil, gas or mining
- Retail sale of goods or services
- Transportation of freight, merchandise, or other property by a commercial vehicle