Idaho Labor Law: Information

Today we will look at Idaho labor law information.

Idaho Labor Law

1. Minimum wage in Idaho
The current Idaho state minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, the same as the federal minimum wage. The minimum wage for a tipped employee is $3.35 per hour. A training minimum wage of $4.25 per hour can be paid to employees under 20 years old for the first 90 calendar days of employment.

2. Breaks or meal periods during the day
Idaho law does not require employers to give breaks or meal periods. An employee would only be entitled to breaks if it is the employer’s policy to provide them.

3. Employee holiday, vacation, severance or sick pay
Neither Idaho law nor the federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires an employer to provide vacation, holiday, severance or sick pay. These items are matters for agreement between the employer and the employee or their authorized representative. If there is any change in a policy that is in effect, the employee must be notified prior to the change.

4. Employer is accused of not paying correct wages
Employees must be notified of any reduction in their pay rate prior to the work being performed. If they have already performed the work, and then disputed the wage amount, they could file a claim for the difference in wages for work performed prior to.

5. Employer is accused of unfair termination
Idaho is a “work at will” state. This means that there is no set length for an employment relationship, and either the employer or the employee may end it at any time, with or without notice and with or without cause. If there is an employer policy, employment contract or union agreement, the employment relationship may be subject to the terms and conditions of that agreement.

Although you have the right to terminate for any reason, beware that the employee could contact the Human Rights Commission if they felt the termination was race related.

Idaho Human Rights Commission
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, Idaho 83720-0040
Phone: (208) 334-2873 or toll free (888) 249-7025

6. Your Employee has filed a workers’ compensation claim
You should be the first to be notified if your employee has suffered a work-related illness or injury. Questions regarding work-related illness or injury or workers’ compensation benefits should be addressed to the:

Idaho Industrial Commission
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, Idaho 83720-0041
Phone: (208) 334-6000

7. Overtime Pay
In accordance with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, overtime must be paid at a rate of time and one half for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek, unless the employer or the individual employee is considered exempt.

For information about the overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, contact the U.S. Department of Labor regional. There is no Idaho department of labor. If you are in North Idaho you will contact Seattle, and Southwest or Eastern Idaho contact Oregon.

In northern Idaho:
U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
300 Fifth Ave., Ste. 1130
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: (206) 398-8039

In southwest and eastern Idaho:
U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
620 SW Main St., Room 423
Portland, OR 97205
Phone: (503) 326-3057

8. Law concerning last paycheck
Idaho law requires that if an employee quits, is terminated or is laid off, all wages then due must be paid the soonest of: the next regularly scheduled payday or within 10 days of the separation – weekends and holidays excluded. If after separation occurs the employee gives the employer a written request for earlier payment of all wages, the employee must be paid within 48 hours of the employer’s receipt of the written request – weekends and holidays excluded.

9. Minimum work age of minors
In most cases, minors must be at least 14 years of age to work in non-agricultural jobs. Idaho Child Labor Laws are found in Idaho Code sections 44-1301 through 44-1308. Violations of the Idaho Child Labor Laws should be brought to the attention of the probation officer or the school trustees in the school district where the violations occur.

For businesses that fall under the coverage of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the U.S. Department of Labor generally enforces the child labor laws. Federal provisions include restrictions on hours of work for minors under 16 years of age and prohibition on working in jobs considered hazardous occupations both on and off the farm as declared by the Secretary of Labor. For more information visit

10. Employee’s rights to collect on unpaid wages
If your employee has attempted to collect their wages at the usual place of payment and you will still not pay, or if you have not paid all the wages due, they may file a wage claim with the Idaho Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Section or file a civil complaint in Small Claims Court. They many also may seek the assistance of a private attorney.

11. When can an employer withhold wages
Employers may not withhold any portion of your wages unless the employer is required to withhold by state or federal law or if your employer has your written authorization to make deductions from your paycheck. In most cases, even if the employer has written authorization from employee to make deductions, the deduction cannot reduce your wages below the minimum wage.

However, if the employer gives the employee an advance or draw against future wages, the employer can withhold the entire amount of that advance or draw from any future paycheck.

12. Treating an employee like an independent contractor
For the state of Idaho, this is an important distinction. Under Idaho laws an independent contractor is free from direction and control over how the work is performed. Some Idaho laws also require that independent contractors be established businesses, which may include having business expenses and income.

2 Replies to "Idaho Labor Law: Information"

  • Greg Bowman
    January 7, 2016 (4:56 AM)

    That is interesting that the state does not require employees to get a break during the work period. There are so many things that employees take for granted when it comes to the benefits at work that do NOT include a dollar sign.

  • Shawn Reston
    March 24, 2016 (4:13 PM)

    I think the minimum age for minors in all states is 14, right?

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