In Wyoming, you have the right to work without your employer forcing you to become or stay a labor union member. Job security is another matter, because your employer can terminate you at any time without cause, unless an employment contract says otherwise. To know your rights as an employee in Wyoming, you must consider both federal and state laws.
As of the date of publication, employees in Wyoming law are entitled to no less than the state minimum wage of $5.15 per hour. The Fair Labor Standards Act sets the federal minimum wage at $7.25 per hour. When both federal and state minimum wage law applies, your employer must pay you at the greater rate, which is $7.25 in this case.
Wyoming does not have overtime laws. If you work more than 40 hours for the week, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, your employer must pay the extra hours at 1.5 times your regular pay rate. If you qualify for an exemption under the FLSA, your employer does not have to pay you overtime. Executive, administrative and professional employees generally do not have to be paid overtime.
Under Wyoming’s occupational health and safety program, most employers must provide employees with a safe working environment. Only a few employees are excluded from the state program, such as those who work for federal agencies and the United States Postal Service. Your employer must comply with numerous safety laws to stay in compliance. This includes providing you with hazard-free working conditions and tools and equipment that are safe to use and giving you reasonable access to toilet facilities.
Breaks and Benefit Days
Wyoming does not regulate breaks or meal periods. If your employer chooses to give them, it must use federal law, which regards breaks as paid and meal periods as unpaid. Your employer also does not have to give you paid or unpaid vacation. If it chooses to give vacation time, it must abide by the company policy. Your employer must pay out all your earned vacation time when you leave the company. It also must give you one hour of paid time off to vote in a general, primary or special election if you do not have three or more consecutive non-working hours while the polls are open.
Wyoming does not have laws that say how often most employees must be paid. An exception goes for employees in railroad, refinery, mine, mill, factory and oil and gas production industries; in these cases, employees must be paid at least semi-monthly. All employees in Wyoming must receive a pay stub that shows all deductions from their wages each time they are paid. Upon your termination, your employer has five business days from your separation date to pay your final wages.
Your employer must make mandatory deductions from your paychecks, such as for federal taxes, and if applicable, wage garnishment. Other deductions are allowed, provided your employer makes them legally. This includes for cash shortages; breakage, damage or loss of the employer’s property or tools; equipment; uniforms; union dues; health insurance; and paycheck advance repayment.
If your employer violates your wage or job safety rights, you may file a complaint with the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services. Depending on your industry, if you are injured on the job, you might be entitled to worker’s compensation. You may qualify for unemployment benefits if you lost your job through no fault of your own.
Grace Ferguson has been writing professionally since 2009. With 10 years of experience in employee benefits and payroll administration, Ferguson has written extensively on topics relating to employment and finance. A research writer as well, she has been published in The Sage Encyclopedia and Mission Bell Media.