Wage and hour laws are established to regulate the time employees spend working and the pay they receive for their time. These laws cover topics such as what qualifies as time worked, minimum wage, tips, what employers must pay for, meal and rest breaks, and overtime. Understanding these regulations is essential for employers to ensure they are in compliance and to avoid potential civil or criminal penalties.
Minimum Wage in Idaho
In Idaho, the minimum wage is $7.25 for every hour worked. This amount is equal to the federally mandated minimum wage.
Minimum Wage of Tipped Workers: Idaho employers can pay workers who earn tips $3.35 per hour as long as the average of their total earnings amounts to the state’s minimum wage. Federal regulations operate on the same principle, allowing employers to pay tipped workers a lower minimum wage provided their total earnings equal $7.25 per hour. Idaho employers are beholden to the state’s law, which is more generous to employees.
Does Minimum Wage Apply to Me: Most Idaho employers are covered by wage and hour laws. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) covers employers who are involved in producing, handling and selling goods for interstate commerce. Employees exempt from wage and hour laws in Idaho include domestic service workers, outside salespeople and seasonal workers at nonprofit camping programs. To learn more about who is exempt and who is covered, refer to the Idaho Department of Labor.
When are Raises Required: Idaho’s wage and hour regulations do not cover raises. Rather, raises are given at the discretion of employers and are usually based on factors including overall production, the quality of work performed and time in service.
Work Hours in Idaho
Neither Idaho state law nor federal law set limits on the number of hours that employees can work in a day or week. All employees 16 or older are permitted to work as many hours a day or week as they see fit.
Paying Overtime: Idaho law prescribes to the federal overtime law. This requires employers to pay workers 1 1/2 times their normal pay rate for every hour they work over 40 hours in a week. Although federal overtime regulations apply to most employers, there are a number of exceptions. For instance, employees at certain seasonal establishments and farm laborers are usually exempt from overtime laws, as are domestic service workers who live with their employers and commissioned salespeople.
Guaranteed Breaks and Meals: Idaho and federal laws do not include provisions regarding rest and meal breaks. If an employer does offer breaks, any employees who work through a break must be paid for their time. Shorter breaks of between five and 20 minutes are paid because they are viewed as part of a normal work day. The law provides an exception for nursing mothers. For up to one year after giving birth, women who are nursing must be allowed time to express milk.
Paid Time-off and Sick Pay: Neither the state of Idaho nor federal law requires employers to offer sick pay or paid time-off. Any agreements regarding sick leave or vacation time are arranged between employers and employees.
Notice Period for Employee Termination: Idaho is what’s known as an at-will employment state. This means that employers have the right to terminate employment for any reason without notice, given they do not have a contract stating otherwise.
Plant Closings & Layoffs: In certain situations, Idaho employers must provide 60 days’ notice when laying off workers or closing plants. The state has no specific laws relating to layoffs, but employers must comply with the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. This applies to employers with more than 100 full-time workers, in addition to plant closings and mass layoffs.
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