labor law guide
The Idaho state employment laws every business owner should know
Wages and breaks
The minimum wage for tipped employees is $5.55.
Employers can require tipped employees to participate in a tip pooling or sharing arrangement.
Idaho law requires employers to pay non-exempt employees 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for the number of hours worked over 40 in a workweek.
The federal overtime rule laid out in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act stipulates that the minimum salary requirement for administrative, professional, and executive exemptions is $684 per week, or $35,568 per year. Workers making at least this salary level may be eligible for overtime based on their job duties.
Final paychecks in Idaho
Idaho law requires that employers pay employees who separate from employment for any reason (including termination and resignation) all final wages by the next regularly scheduled payday or within 10 days of separation of employment, whichever comes first.
Idaho child labor laws
Minors 14 and 15 years of age
When school is in session, minors 14 and 15 years of age may not work during school hours, more than 3 hours on school days, earlier than 7 a.m. or later than 7 p.m., or more than 18 hours a week, according to state law and the Idaho Department of Labor.
When school is not in session, they may not work more than 8 hours a day, more than 40 hours a week, or earlier than 7 a.m. or later than 9 p.m.
Minors 16 and 17 years of age
Minors 16 and 17 years of age may not work during school hours when school is in session, or more than 8 hours a day when school is not in session.
Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid sick leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one.
Employers may be required to provide employees unpaid leave in accordance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid vacation leave but must comply with their own established wage and hour policies in their employee handbook if they choose to implement one.
Employers can cap the amount of vacation time that can be accrued.
Employers are not required to provide bereavement leave.
Private employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid time off for holidays.
Employers are not required to pay an employee for time taken to respond to a jury summons, but they are not allowed to punish the employee in any way.
Idaho does not require employers to provide leave.
Employers may not discharge an employee because they take military leave. They must allow employees to take up to 15 days of leave a year for military training.
After their service, the employee is entitled to return to their job if the employee meets certain conditions. For one year, the employer may not discharge the employee without cause.
If the employee sustains a disability because of their service and can no longer perform their job duties, the employer must offer them another position that they are qualified for. The pay and benefits of the position offered must be similar to those of the employee’s previous position.
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is applicable to all employers in the United States. For information, visit the USERRA page here.
Hiring and firing
Federal law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of: Race, Color, Age, Sex, Sexual orientation, Gender, Gender identity, Religion, National origin, Pregnancy, Genetic information, including family medical history, Physical or mental disability, Child or spousal support withholding, Military or veteran status, Citizenship and/or immigration status.
Additionally, Idaho prohibits discrimination based on wage garnishment for consumer debt.
Click here to read our blog on what acceptable and unacceptable questions to ask during an interview.
Idaho is an employment-at-will state, which means that without a written employee contract, employees can be terminated for any reason at any time, provided that the reason is not discriminatory and that the employer is not retaliating against the employee for a rightful action.
Regarding employment and payroll data, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and others, you must:
For at least 3 years: keep payroll records, certificates, agreements, notices, collective bargaining agreements, employment contracts, and sales and purchase records. Also keep completed copies of each employee’s I-9 for three years after they are hired. If the employee works longer than three years, hold on to the form for at least one year after the employee leaves.
For at least 2 years: Keep basic employment and earning records like timecards, wage-rate tables, shipping and billing records, and records of additions to or deductions from wages. Also keep the records that show why you may pay different wages to employees of different sexes, such as wage rates, job evaluations, seniority and merit systems, and collective bargaining agreements.
For at least 1 year: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says employers should keep all employment records for at least one year from the employee’s date of termination.
Other record-keeping laws that may apply to you:
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, you need to keep records of job-related injuries and illnesses for five years. But some records, like those covering toxic substance exposure, have to be kept for 30 years.
You must keep files of benefit plans and seniority and merit systems while they are in effect and for at least a year after they end. You must also retain summary descriptions and annual reports of benefits plans for six years.
If your company is covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act, you must also retain relevant records of leaves, notices, policies, and more for three years.
Additional laws that may apply to you.
Employers in Idaho may test applicants and employees for drugs and alcohol as long as their testing requirements and procedures comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
If an employer follows the guidelines of the Idaho Employer Alcohol and Drug-Free Workplace Act, they may be eligible for a discount on their workers’ compensation insurance premiums and an employee’s positive test result constitutes misconduct under the state unemployment benefit law.
COBRA is a federal law that allows many employees to continue their health insurance benefits after their employment ends. It applies to employers that have 20 or more employees.
Employers in Idaho may not discharge or otherwise retaliate against an employee for opposing, complaining about, or participating in a proceeding regarding discrimination.
In addition, farm operators and farm labor contractors may not discharge or otherwise retaliate against a worker for filing a complaint or testifying about sanitation facilities.
Idaho requires that employers conduct background checks for personal care assistants for Medicaid participants.
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View the resources available to Idaho business owners and workers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak in our state-by-state COVID-19 Resource Center.
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This summary is not qualified legal advice. Laws are always subject to change, and they can vary from municipality to municipality. It’s up to you to make sure you’re compliant with all laws and statutes in your area. If you need more compliance help, we recommend consulting with a qualified lawyer, checking with your local government agencies, or signing up for Homebase to get help from our certified HR Pros.