Dear Business Community,
Week three of the Legislative Session has brought several important developments in legislation that impacts the business community. One of the most significant is S.B. 46, Post Employment Restriction Amendments, sponsored by Sen. Kirk Cullimore and Rep. Mike Shultz. In its original form, this bill amended Utah’s non-compete statute to codify the factors established in Utah case law and did not change the law in any material way. This is consistent with the agreement that was reached in 2016. However, the bill has been amended to limit the definition of “Legitimate Business Interests” to trade secrets, intellectual property, and properly designated and protected confidential information or materials only. We are actively working with the sponsors to return the bill to its original form or prevent its passage and will keep you updated on its progress.
Also of significant importance, H.B. 284, Minimum Wage Amendments, sponsored by Rep. Clare Collard was introduced. This bill increases the minimum wage to $12.00 per hour on July 1, 2021, with a yearly increase to $15.00 per hour in 2025 and increases the case wage obligation for a tipped employee to $5.00 per hour.
While we recognize this bill is well intentioned, government mandated minimum wage increases do not have the impact they intend. Our goal as a business community is to improve our economy so that it provides stable, high paying jobs — our low unemployment rate and the high demand for skilled employees ensures that. These kinds of government interventions in market forces stifle companies’ ability to grow and actually result in lost jobs and disincentivizes companies from making Utah their home. During this time when businesses’ efforts are focused on serving the economic strains brought on by the pandemic, we are asking the state to support them, making sure they survive and keeping as many Utahns employed as possible.
Additionally, H.B. 80, Data Security Amendments, sponsored by Rep. Walt Brooks, creates an affirmative defense to causes of action arising out of a data breach involving personal information, restricted information, or both personal information and restricted information for entities that implement a well-written cybersecurity policy based on best practices. This will be heard in the House Business and Labor Committee on Monday afternoon. This bill is a priority for the Chamber, and we have worked closely with Rep. Brooks to ensure its success — it has broad support from the business community as a whole.
Finally, this week Sen. Jake Anderegg introduced S.B. 164, Utah Housing Affordability Amendments. This bill, supported by the Utah Commission on Housing Affordability, addresses and supports many of the Chamber’s priorities related to addressing the state’s Housing Crisis and is a priority.
As the Chamber policy team, we are closely monitoring and daily developments and working to ensure they turn out in a posture that best serves Utah businesses.
Please let us know if you have questions or concerns.
Salt Lake Chamber Policy Team