Labor and Employment Law Overview: Wyoming

Labor and Employment Law Overview requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: XpertHR Editorial Team

Summary

  • Wyoming law prohibits an employer from discriminating against employees in a variety of protected classes. Employers must also provide equal pay protections. See EEO, Diversity and Employee Relations.
  • In Wyoming, there are requirements relating to the minimum wage and child labor. See Wage and Hour.
  • Wyoming has laws that relate to employee pay and benefits, including pay statements, pay frequency, wage deductions and health care continuation. See Pay and Benefits.
  • Under Wyoming law, employees are entitled to certain leave or time off, including jury duty leave, crime victim/witness leave, voting leave and military leave. See Time Off and Leaves of Absence.
  • Wyoming prohibits texting on a handheld device while driving. See Health and Safety.
  • When employment ends, employers must comply with applicable final pay and job reference requirements. See Organizational Exit.

Introduction to Employment Law in Wyoming

Wyoming has laws that provide greater protections to employees than federal law, including health care continuation coverage obligations for smaller employers, but generally follows federal law with respect to topics such as occupational safety.

Select Wyoming employment requirements are summarized below to help an employer understand the range of employment laws affecting the employer-employee relationship in the state. An employer must comply with both federal and state law.

An employer must also comply with applicable municipal law obligations affecting the employment relationship, in addition to complying with state and federal requirements.

EEO, Diversity and Employee Relations

Key Wyoming requirements impacting EEO, diversity and employee relations are:

Fair Employment Practices

The Wyoming Fair Employment Practices Act (WFEPA) prohibits an employer with two or more employees from discriminating on the basis of protected characteristics, including:

  • Age (40 and over);
  • Sex;
  • Race;
  • Creed;
  • Color;
  • National origin;
  • Ancestry;
  • Pregnancy; and
  • Disability.

Equal Pay

The Wyoming Equal Pay Act requires all employers to provide equal pay to men and women for equal work. An employer is prohibited from discriminating between employees in the same establishment on the basis of gender by paying wages to employees at a rate less than the rate paid to employees of the opposite gender for equal work on jobs that require equal skill, effort and responsibility and that are performed under similar working conditions. Exceptions are allowed for pay based on:

  • A seniority or merit system;
  • A system that measures earning by quantity or quality of production; or
  • A differential based on any factor other than gender.

Be aware that where there is overlap between federal, state and/or local law, complying with the law that offers the greatest rights or benefits to the employee will generally apply.

Additional information on EEO, diversity and employee relations practices in Wyoming can be found in the Wyoming Employee Handbook Table of Contents, Disabilities (ADA): Wyoming, EEO - Discrimination: Wyoming, EEO - Harassment: Wyoming, EEO - Retaliation: Wyoming, Wyoming Workplace Labor and Employment Law Posters and Does This Law Apply to My Organization in Wyoming? Federal requirements can be found in Disabilities (ADA): Federal, EEO - Discrimination: Federal, EEO - Harassment: Federal and EEO - Retaliation: Federal

Wage and Hour

Key Wyoming requirements impacting wages and hours are:

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in Wyoming is $5.15 per hour. Employers that are subject to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act must pay the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Employees under 20 years of age may be paid $4.25 for the first 90 consecutive days of work.

Child Labor

Child labor laws in Wyoming restrict the occupations in which minors may be employed and the number of hours and times during which they may work.

Minors under the age of 16 are prohibited from working in hazardous, such as operating heavy construction equipment, and from employment considered injurious to the morals, health or safety of a child.

Minors under the age of 16 who are enrolled in school may work:

  • Up to eight hours in a 12-hour period;
  • Only between 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. on a day preceding a school day;
  • Until midnight on a day not preceding a school day; and
  • Only during the hours when school is not in session.

Minors between the ages of 14 and 16 who are not enrolled in school may work for a maximum of eight hours between 5:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m.

Minors under the age of 14 may not be employed except for farm, domestic or yard work or nonhazardous employment at a business owned by their parents, grandparents or legal guardians, as long as it is not during school hours.

Be aware that where there is overlap between federal, state and/or local law, complying with the law that offers the greatest rights or benefits to the employee will generally apply.

Additional information on wage and hour practices in Wyoming can be found in Minimum Wage: Wyoming, Child Labor: Wyoming, Wyoming Workplace Labor and Employment Law Posters and Does This Law Apply to My Organization in Wyoming? Federal requirements can be found in Minimum Wage: Federal and Child Labor: Federal.

Pay and Benefits

Key Wyoming requirements impacting pay and benefits are:

Pay Statements

An employer must provide a detachable statement with paychecks, drafts or vouchers indicating any pay deductions that were made. If cash payments are made, an itemized statement of deductions must also be provided.

Pay Frequency

Wyoming employers are permitted to pay employees monthly or as otherwise agreed by the parties. However, certain employers (e.g., railroad, mine, refinery) must pay employees on the first and 15th day of the month.

Wage Deductions

An employer may make deductions from employees' wages under different circumstances, such as when required by law to do so (e.g., federal and state taxes, Social Security or a garnishment order), for cash shortages or property damage, and for union dues. However, the deductions must meet specified criteria (e.g., the employee provides written authorization for the deduction).

Health Care Continuation

Wyoming's health care continuation coverage law generally applies to all employers not covered by the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. Under Wyoming law, eligible employees and covered dependents may elect to continue their health care benefits for up to 12 months after health coverage ends due to termination of employment, membership or eligibility for coverage.

Be aware that where there is overlap between federal, state and/or local law, complying with the law that offers the greatest rights or benefits to the employee will generally apply.

Additional information on pay and benefits practices in Wyoming can be found in Payment of Wages: Wyoming, Involuntary and Voluntary Pay Deductions: Wyoming, Health Care Continuation (COBRA): Wyoming and Does This Law Apply to My Organization in Wyoming? Federal requirements can be found in Payment of Wages: Federal, Involuntary and Voluntary Pay Deductions: Federal and Health Care Continuation (COBRA): Federal.

Time Off and Leaves of Absence

Wyoming has few laws relating to required time off and leaves of absence for employees, which cover all employers. These laws include:

  • Jury duty leave;
  • Crime victim/witness leave;
  • Voting leave; and
  • Military leave.

Be aware that where there is overlap between federal, state and/or local law, complying with the law that offers the greatest rights or benefits to the employee will generally apply.

Additional information on time off and leave of absence practices in Wyoming can be found in the Wyoming Employee Handbook Table of Contents, Jury Duty: Wyoming, USERRA: Wyoming, Other Leaves: Wyoming and Does This Law Apply to My Organization in Wyoming? Federal requirements can be found in Jury Duty: Federal, USERRA: Federal and Other Leaves: Federal.

Health and Safety

Wyoming prohibits drivers from using a handheld electronic wireless communication device to write, send or read a text-based communication while operating a motor vehicle on a public street or highway. Using voice-operated or hands-free technology is allowed.

Be aware that where there is overlap between federal, state and/or local law, complying with the law that offers the greatest rights or benefits to the employee will generally apply.

Additional information on health and safety practices in Wyoming can be found in the Wyoming Employee Handbook Table of Contents, HR and Workplace Safety: Wyoming, Wyoming Workplace Labor and Employment Law Posters and Does This Law Apply to My Organization in Wyoming? Federal requirements can be found in HR and Workplace Safety (OSHA Compliance): Federal.

Organizational Exit

Key Wyoming requirements impacting organizational exit are:

Final Pay

An employee who quits or is terminated must be paid in cash, by check or by draft that can be cashed at a bank. Wages must be paid at the usual place of payment and generally no later than the next regularly scheduled payday.

An employer may offset from final wages any amount an employee incurred during the employment and owes to the employer.

The value of accrued vacation leave is excluded from the definition of wages if the employer has a written policy stating that accrued vacation is forfeited upon termination of employment and the employee has acknowledged the written policy in writing.

References

A Wyoming employer that discloses information regarding a former employee's performance to a potential employer is presumed to be doing so in good faith, unless the employer provided information that was:

  • Knowingly false;
  • Deliberately misleading; or
  • Rendered with a malicious purpose.

Be aware that where there is overlap between federal, state and/or local law, complying with the law that offers the greatest rights or benefits to the employee will generally apply.

Additional information on organizational exit practices in Wyoming can be found in Payment of Wages: Wyoming, Employee Communications: Wyoming and Does This Law Apply to My Organization in Wyoming? Federal requirements can be found in Payment of Wages: Federal and Employee Communications: Federal.