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Employment and labor laws in Idaho 2024 guide

An employer's guide to labor laws, payroll, benefits, and taxes in Idaho.

Idaho at a Glance

State capital

Boise

Population

1.8 million

State motto

"Let it be perpetual"

Key industries

Agriculture, Manufacturing, Healthcare

Major economic hubs

Boise, Coeur d'Alene, Twin Falls

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Introduction to employment laws in Idaho

Overview

Like any state, Idaho is governed by a patchwork of federal and state laws. As such, it’s crucial for employers to understand and comply with a broad range of rules and regulations.

Remaining compliant with Idaho’s employment laws shields businesses from legal disputes, hefty fines, and potential damage to their reputation. Here’s everything you need to know.

Employing in Idaho: Key employment laws and practices

Standard work hours

In Idaho, full-time employment is traditionally considered to be a maximum of 40 hours per week. However, this definition isn’t explicitly defined by law, allowing employers flexibility in determining work schedules based on operational needs or industry norms.

Part-time or contractual employees will have their work hours defined by their employment contract. Self-employed professionals or independent contractors have the liberty to set their own work hours.

Minimum wage and overtime

Idaho’s current minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which is equivalent to the federal minimum wage and has remained so since 2021. Employers are required to pay this rate to all non-exempt employees.

In addition to this base pay, employers must comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to provide overtime pay for any hours worked over 40 per week at a rate of 1.5x the regular hourly pay.

Insurance and benefits

Idaho employers are obligated to provide certain benefits to their employees. These include workers’ compensation insurance coverage for job-related injuries or illnesses and unemployment insurance for eligible employees who lose their jobs through no fault of their own.

In terms of healthcare, employers with 50 or more full-time employees are required by the federal Affordable Care Act to offer health insurance benefits. Retirement benefits, such as 401k plans, are discretionary and can be offered by employers as part of their benefits package.

Benefit

Requirement

Notes

Worker’s compensation

Mandatory

Insurance to cover workplace injuries or illnesses

Unemployment insurance

Mandatory

Provides temporary income for eligible employees who lose their jobs

Health insurance

Mandatory for businesses with 50 or more full-time employees

Required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Retirement benefits (e.g., 401k)

Discretionary

Not required but often offered as part of the benefits package

Meal and rest periods

Idaho does not have any specific laws regarding rest and meal periods for employees. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applies instead: If an employer offers short breaks (usually lasting about five-20 minutes), these must be paid. Conversely, meal periods (typically lasting at least 30 minutes) do not need to be paid, as long as the employee is free from work duties during this time.

Anti-discrimination laws

Idaho employment laws prohibit discrimination in the workplace through the Idaho Human Rights Act (IHRA). The IHRA obligates companies with five or more employees to abide by its laws against discrimination.

It protects employees from being discriminated against on several grounds, including race, color, national origin (including the national origin of an ancestor), religion, disability, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions), and age (if the individual is 40 years old or older).

The IHRA also prohibits harassment and retaliation.

In terms of equal pay, Idaho’s Wage Act applies to all employers in Idaho, regardless of their size. It ensures that both sexes receive equal pay for performing comparable work with similar skill level, effort and responsibility requirements. Where there is overlap between federal and state law, the law offering greater rights or benefits to the employee generally applies.

Multiplier makes it easy to manage benefits for Idaho employees.

Leave policies

In Idaho, there are few laws related to required employee time off and leaves of absence. Idaho law covers two types of leave: jury duty leave and military leave. There are no state-specific requirements for other types of leave, including vacation, sick leave, parental and maternity leave, bereavement leave, and other forms of leave. These policies are typically at the employer’s discretion.

Employers should be aware of federal laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) grant eligible workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for specific family and medical reasons. Notably, military leave in Idaho falls under the auspices of the FMLA.

Leave type

Details

Jury duty leave

Employees are entitled to time off for jury duty service

Military leave (FMLA)

FMLA grants employees the right to be absent from work for military service

Family and medical leave (FMLA)

Under FMLA, eligible workers can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for specific medical and family reasons

Termination laws

Employment in Idaho is generally considered “at will,” meaning that either the employee or employer can terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason, unless a law or agreement provides otherwise.

However, there are legal requirements around terminations. Under Idaho law, employers must provide final pay by the next regularly scheduled payday or within ten days of termination excluding weekends and holidays.

If an employee submits a written request for payment of final wages after termination, they must be paid within 48 hours after the request was received, excluding weekends or holidays.

Idaho does not have specific laws requiring employers to provide severance pay to employees upon termination or layoff. If an employer chooses to offer severance benefits, it must comply with its own established policies and any applicable federal laws.

Easily onboard employees in Idaho?

Safety and health

Employers are also expected to adhere to federal OSHA standards for maintaining safe and healthy work environments. Employers are responsible for providing employees with workplaces that are free from recognized hazards that may cause death or serious physical harm.

In Idaho, employers should adhere to the Idaho Clean Indoor Air Act, which bans smoking in any indoor place of business. Employers are also not required to provide break rooms or other accommodations for smokers. Idaho has a ban on the use of mobile electronic devices while driving, promoting safe driving practices among employees.

Taxes in Idaho

In Idaho, employers have obligations when it comes to withholding taxes from employees’ wages. The primary taxes withheld include federal income tax, state income tax, and FICA taxes (Social Security and Medicare). Employers also pay Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) and State Unemployment Tax (SUTA).

Tax type

Details

Federal income tax

Withheld from employee’s wages

State income tax (Idaho)

Idaho state income tax (flat rate of 5.8%) is withheld

FICA taxes (Social Security and Medicare)

Employer and employee each pay 6.2% for Social Security (up to the annual maximum) and 1.45% for Medicare.

Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)

Employer pays 6.0% on first $7,000 of employee’s wages each year.

State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)

Employer pays state-specific rate on a portion of employee’s wages up to a yearly cap.

Managing Idaho employees with an Employer of Record (EOR)

Employing people in any U.S. state, including Idaho, requires the difficult work of navigating varying employment laws and HR compliance requirements.

Multiplier’s comprehensive Employer of Record (EOR) solution enables you to legally employ full-time workers in Idaho without the hassle of setting up local entities.

And our global payroll platform ensures accurate and timely payment to your U.S. employees while handling local taxes, contributions, and withholdings.

We also extend stock ownership plans to your globally distributed teams and provide locally compliant and competitive employee benefits, including insurance coverage and pension plans.

Get to know how Multiplier can simplify your HR processes. Book a demo with us today.

FAQs

Compliance with state and federal employment laws is crucial for businesses operating in Idaho. Key employment laws include the Idaho Human Rights Act (IHRA), which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, disability, sex (including pregnancy), and age (individuals 40 or over). The Wage Act mandates equal pay for comparable work based on skill, effort, and responsibility regardless of gender.

Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applicable in Idaho, non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours a week should receive overtime pay at 1.5x their regular pay rate. Employees earning more than $684 per week, performing executive or managerial duties, or working in certified professions are generally exempt from overtime.

The minimum wage for private sector employees in Idaho is currently $7.25 per hour, which aligns with the federal minimum. Employers must adhere to this rule to ensure compliance with wage and hour laws.

Yes, employers in Idaho may require potential hires to undergo drug or alcohol tests under the Idaho Employer Alcohol and Drug-Free Workplace Act. The employer must have a written policy outlining the types of tests and potential consequences of testing positive, such as refusal to hire.

Idaho law requires employers to pay wages at least once per month on designated paydays. Upon termination, final wages must be paid by the next regularly scheduled payday or within 10 days of termination, excluding weekends or holidays.

Managing employees in Idaho?

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