Labor and Employment Law Overview: Idaho

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

  • Idaho law prohibits an employer from discriminating and retaliating against employees based in a variety of protected classes. Employers must also provide equal pay. See EEO, Diversity and Employee Relations.
  • Idaho permits preemployment drug and alcohol testing. See Recruiting and Hiring.
  • In Idaho, there are requirements relating to the minimum wage and child labor. See Wage and Hour.
  • Idaho has laws that relate to employee pay and benefits, including payment of wages, pay frequency, pay statements, wage notices and wage deductions. See Pay and Benefits.
  • Under Idaho law, employees are entitled to certain leaves or time off, including jury duty leave and military leave. See Time Off and Leaves of Absence.
  • Idaho prohibits smoking in the workplace and texting while driving. See Health and Safety.
  • When employment ends, Idaho employers must comply with applicable final pay and job reference requirements. See Organizational Exit.

Introduction to Employment Law in Idaho

Idaho has laws that provide greater protections to employees than federal law, including antidiscrimination coverage for smaller employers, but generally follows federal law with respect to topics such as the minimum wage.

Select Idaho 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 Idaho requirements impacting EEO, diversity and employee relations are:

Fair Employment Practices

An employer with five or more employees must comply with the Idaho Human Rights Act (IHRA). The IHRA prohibits an employer from discriminating against employees on the basis of protected characteristics, including:

  • Race;
  • Color;
  • Religion;
  • National origin (including the national origin of an ancestor);
  • Disability;
  • Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions); and
  • Age (individuals 40 or over).

The IHRA also prohibits harassment and retaliation.

Equal Pay

The Wage Act applies to all Idaho employers, regardless of the number of employees. It prohibits an employer from paying lower wages to one sex than the other in the same establishment for comparable work on jobs that have comparable requirements relating to skill, effort and responsibility. An employer may, however, pay different rates based on an established seniority or merit increase system.

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 Idaho can be found in the Idaho Employee Handbook Table of Contents, Disabilities (ADA): Idaho, EEO - Discrimination: Idaho, EEO - Harassment: Idaho, EEO - Retaliation: Idaho, Idaho Workplace Labor and Employment Law Posters and Does This Law Apply to My Organization in Idaho? Federal requirements can be found in Disabilities (ADA): Federal, EEO - Discrimination: Federal, EEO - Harassment: Federal and EEO - Retaliation: Federal.

Recruiting and Hiring

An employer may condition hiring on drug or alcohol tests conducted by the employer or a third party. If an employer chooses to test applicants, it must have a written policy that describes the types of tests to which the individual may be subject and includes a statement that testing positive may result in a refusal to hire, as required by the Idaho Employer Alcohol and Drug-Free Workplace Act.

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 recruiting and hiring practices in Idaho can be found in Preemployment Screening and Testing: Idaho and Does This Law Apply to My Organization in Idaho? Federal requirements can be found in Preemployment Screening and Testing: Federal.

Wage and Hour

Key Idaho requirements impacting wages and hours are:

Minimum Wage

Idaho's minimum is $7.25 per hour, the same as the federal minimum wage. A separate minimum wage rate exists for certain employees (e.g., tipped employees).

Child Labor

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

Minors may not be employed in immoral places (e.g., saloon, gambling house, house of prostitution) or serve or handle intoxicating liquors. Minors under the age of 15 are prohibited from working in a variety of other occupations.

Minors under the age of 16 generally may not work

  • More than 54 hours in any week;
  • More than nine hours in a day;
  • Before 6:00 a.m.; or
  • After 9:00 p.m.

Additional restrictions apply regarding working 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 Idaho can be found in Minimum Wage: Idaho, Child Labor: Idaho, Idaho Workplace Labor and Employment Law Posters and Does This Law Apply to My Organization in Idaho? Federal requirements can be found in Minimum Wage: Federal and Child Labor: Federal.

Pay and Benefits

Key Idaho requirements impacting pay and benefits are:

Payment of Wages

An employer may pay wages in cash or by check, as long as employees can cash their checks without charge. An employer may pay employees by direct deposit under certain circumstances.

Pay Statements

An employer must provide a statement of all deductions made from employee paychecks for each pay period in which deductions are made.

Pay Frequency

Idaho law requires an employer to pay wages at least once per calendar month on regular paydays that the employer designates in advance.

Wage Notices

At the time of hire, an employer must notify employees of their pay rate and payday. An employer must also notify employees of any wage reductions prior to the work being performed. Employees can request that the employer provide these notices in writing.

Wage Deductions

An employer may not withhold any portion of an employee's wages, unless the deduction is required by state or federal law or is authorized by the employee in writing and is for a lawful reasons.

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 Idaho can be found in Payment of Wages: Idaho, Involuntary and Voluntary Pay Deductions: Idaho and Does This Law Apply to My Organization in Idaho? Federal requirements can be found in Payment of Wages: Federal and Involuntary and Voluntary Pay Deductions: Federal.

Time Off and Leaves of Absence

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

  • Jury duty 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 Idaho can be found in the Idaho Employee Handbook Table of Contents, Jury Duty: Idaho, USERRA: Idaho and Does This Law Apply to My Organization in Idaho? Federal requirements can be found in Jury Duty: Federal and USERRA: Federal.

Health and Safety

Key Idaho requirements impacting health and safety are:

Smoke-Free Workplace

The Idaho Clean Indoor Air Act generally prohibits smoking in any indoor place of business. An employer is not required to provide smokers with break rooms or other accommodation.

Safe Driving Practices

Idaho bans texting while driving.

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 Idaho can be found in the Idaho Employee Handbook Table of Contents, HR and Workplace Safety: Idaho, Employee Health: Idaho and Does This Law Apply to My Organization in Idaho? Federal requirements can be found in HR and Workplace Safety (OSHA Compliance): Federal and Employee Health: Federal.

Organizational Exit

Key Idaho requirements impacting organizational exit are:

Final Pay

An employer must pay final wages by the next regularly scheduled payday, or within 10 days of termination, not including weekends or holidays. However, if the employee submits a written request to the employer for payment of final wages after termination, the employer must pay the wages within 48 hours after the request was received, not including weekends or holidays.

References

An employer that provides information regarding an employee's job performance, professional conduct or evaluation in good faith to a prospective employer, at the employee's or prospective employer's request, will not be held liable for the disclosure unless the employer acted with actual malice or deliberate intent to mislead.

In addition, an employer may not blacklist individuals or notify another employer that a former employee has been blacklisted for the purpose of preventing the employee from receiving employment.

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 Idaho can be found in Payment of Wages: Idaho, Performance Appraisals: Idaho and Does This Law Apply to My Organization in Idaho? Federal requirements can be found in Payment of Wages: Federal and Performance Appraisals: Federal.