Idaho Overtime Laws

January 14th 2024

Overtime laws are regulations established by the state to govern the payment of overtime wages to employees. These laws are designed to protect workers and ensure fair compensation for the additional hours they work beyond the standard workweek. Idaho Labor Laws has no provisions for overtime regulations so the state abides by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. 

This article will provide information to successfully navigate Idaho’s overtime regulations, whether you’re an employer aiming for compliance or an employee defending your rights.

This article covers:

Idaho Overtime Rates

Idaho overtime rates refer to the additional compensation provided to employees in the state of Idaho for working beyond the standard 40-hour workweek. With the state minimum wage set at $7.25, Idaho follows the federal overtime rule of 1.5 times the regular hourly rate for hours worked more than 40 in a workweek. 

This means that Idaho’s overtime minimum wage is $10.88 per hour (1.5 times the minimum wage).

Overtime Entitlement in Idaho

According to Idaho overtime laws, overtime pay is required for any non-exempt employees. 

Employees who earn below $684 a week ($35,568 annually) and work in a non-exempt industry are entitled to overtime pay.

It can be difficult to determine if an employee is owed overtime pay or not. It is important to note that an employee’s overall overtime eligibility will be based on what their job duties are as well as what type of business they are in.

Read more about Overtime Exceptions and Exemptions in Idaho.

Mandatory Overtime in Idaho

In Idaho, employers can require an employee to work mandatory overtime of up to 12 hours a day (with break times). An employee’s schedule can be subject to last-minute alterations, leaving them with little time to plan. If an employee cannot work the required overtime, an employer is allowed to invoke disciplinary action upon the employee.

It’s worth mentioning that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not establish a maximum limit on the number of hours an employee can be required to work.

Compensatory Time In Idaho

In Idaho, an appointing authority may choose to provide compensatory time off, “comp time”, instead of monetary compensation for overtime hours worked. The appointing authority must speak with their employee and decide beforehand whether to grant comp time or not. One and a half hours of paid time off should be given for every hour of overtime worked.

Any earned comp time that has not been used by the end of a fiscal year will be paid out in cash on the first paycheck after the subsequent fiscal year. If an employee transfers out of or separates from an agency, all unused comp time will be reimbursed in cash.

Overtime for Tipped Employees in Idaho

Tipped employees in Idaho rely on tips as part of their income. They need to understand the specific rules surrounding overtime. In Idaho, tipped employees are also entitled to overtime pay at the rate of 1.5 times their regular hourly rate. However, it is important to note that a tipped employee’s cash wage is lower than the regular state minimum wage.

An employer can pay tipped employees in Idaho a lower cash wage of $3.35. This is allowed as long as the employee’s total earnings, including tips, meet or exceed the regular minimum wage of $7.25 in Idaho.

If the combined amount of tips and base wage falls short of the regular tipped minimum wage, the employer is required to make up the difference.

It’s worth noting that when calculating overtime pay for tipped employees, an employer must use the full minimum wage for tipped employees ($7.25 in Idaho) to determine their overtime pay rate. An employer cannot use the lower wage of $3.35 to calculate overtime.

Overtime for Salaried Employees in Idaho

Unless explicitly exempted by federal law, employees who are paid a salary must receive overtime pay at a rate of one and a half times their regular pay for any hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek.

To calculate the overtime rate for a salaried employee, the employer needs to determine the employee’s hourly rate by dividing their salary by the number of hours the salary is intended to cover. This calculation is essential for determining how much additional compensation should be provided for overtime work.

Then, take the hourly pay rate to calculate the overtime rate for salaried employees using the following formula:

Hourly pay rate x Overtime Hours x Overtime Rate (1.5)

It is important to note that if an employee’s salary covers less than 40 (hours) in a workweek, their regular rate will be added for every subsequent hour working up to 40. Only after 40 hours will time-and-a-half be counted.

If an employee’s salary covers 40 (hours) in a workweek, then time-and-a-half will be paid for any hours over 40.

Overtime Exceptions and Exemptions in Idaho

In Idaho, the overtime pay rules are governed by the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Consequently, the exceptions and exemptions that apply to overtime pay in the FLSA also apply in Idaho. It’s important to note that exemptions from overtime pay are generally recognized in the state. 

Exempt from overtime pay:

  • Certain commissioned employees of retail or service establishments
  • Employees of railroads and air carriers, taxi drivers, certain motor carriers, seamen on American vessels, and delivery employees paid on trip rate plans
  • Announcers and news editors of certain nonmetropolitan broadcasting stations
  • Live-in domestic service workers
  • Motion picture theaters employees
  • Farmworkers

Partial exemption from overtime pay:

  • Employees in agricultural commodities
  • Employees of certain bulk petroleum distributors
  • Hospitals and residential care establishments that can work on a 14-day work period
  • Employees without a high school diploma who can be required to spend up to 10 hours in a workweek on remedial training (paid at their regular hourly rate)

Misclassifying Employees in Idaho

In Idaho, it is important to distinguish between employees and independent contractors. Employers cannot misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid providing overtime compensation. Simply labeling an employee as an independent contractor, or having a written agreement, may not be enough to avoid state or federal labor laws on overtime pay.

Under Idaho laws, an independent contractor is free from control over how their work is performed. Several factors can be considered when determining if a worker is classified as an employee or independent contractor.

Misclassified employees who have not been provided overtime compensation can receive up to two times the amount owed to them.

Statute of Limitations For Unpaid Overtime Claims in Idaho

In Idaho, the statute of limitations for filing an unpaid overtime claim is two years. However, if an employer deliberately and knowingly violates the law by withholding overtime compensation, the statute of limitations can extend to three years. These statutes of limitations ensure that employees have the opportunity to assert their rights and seek back pay and additional damages.

Additionally, an employee in Idaho who files an overtime complaint is safeguarded against employer retaliation, such as threats, suspensions, or even termination of employment.

Legal Cases Relating to Overtime Compensation in Idaho

Below, we present law cases relating to fair overtime compensation for employees in Idaho: 

1. Employee Seeks to Include Colleagues in Collective Action Lawsuit for Unpaid Overtime Wages

In the case of Hanigan v. OpSec Security, Inc., Emily Hanigan filed a lawsuit against OpSec Security and OpSec Online (collectively, “OpSec”) on behalf of herself and other similarly situated individuals. Hanigan claimed that they were wrongly classified as exempt from receiving overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Hanigan further claimed that she and the other individuals performed similar tasks, such as reviewing the internet for potentially illegal activity on behalf of OpSec’s clients. The court explained that there was a two-step approach to determine if an individual is “similarly situated” and can be included in the lawsuit. The court found that there were enough similarities among the employees to proceed with collective action. The court further explained the importance of informing these individuals about their rights, costs, and obligations related to the lawsuit process.

The court determined that the notice to be given to other employees needed to be amended. The court gave Hanigan a 60-day timeline to revise the notice and consent forms that were to be distributed to similarly situated individuals. Subsequently, the court required OpSec to provide a list of potential “plaintiffs” within 14 days after the revised notice is approved.

In summary, the court granted the conditional certification for collective action but ordered a revision of the notice and set deadlines to provide the needed documents.

Key lessons from this case:

  • Employees can sue employers on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated in a collective action but must receive consent for it to be approved.
  • Potential employees to be involved in a lawsuit must be given a notice that provides details of their rights, fees and costs, and litigation obligations.
  • Misclassified employees are entitled to receive overtime wages for any overtime hours they worked unpaid.
2. Employer Allegedly Terminates Employee for Reporting Unpaid Overtime Wages

In the case of Regan v. HDR Engineering, Inc., Helen Regan filed a lawsuit against HDR Engineering (HDR) for not providing overtime pay and retaliation for reporting unpaid overtime wages. Regan was employed in the Visualization Department and alleged that she and other employees frequently worked more than 40 hours per week without receiving overtime pay. 

Regan claimed that her supervisors pressured her and others to bill fewer hours than they worked. Regan also alleged that HDR employees were required to attend meetings during their work hours for which they were not paid. Regan reported the unpaid overtime to HDR’s Vice President and claimed that her supervisors’ treatment towards her changed significantly after that. Later on, she met with HDR’s HR department and reported the retaliation she experienced. A few months later, she was terminated from her employment. Regan claimed that she was terminated for reporting unpaid overtime claims. 

HDR filed a motion for partial summary judgment seeking dismissal of the FLSA retaliatory discharge claim because there is no evidence of a link between Regan’s complaints and her termination. HDR argued that Regan’s termination was due to a lack of work and a low score on the performance matrix. Following the evidence given by Regan that indicated a causal link between her complaint and her termination, the court decided to dismiss HDR’s motion for partial summary judgment.

The court ultimately decided to let this dispute proceed to trial. The final ruling of this case is undetermined.

Key lessons from this case:

  • Employees should be compensated for attending any meetings or activities that take place during their work hours
  • Significant changes in supervisors’ treatment towards an employee after reporting unpaid overtime can be an indication of retaliation.
  • Employees are protected from retaliation for reporting unpaid overtime or other violations of employment laws.
3. Employer Refiles Motion to Dismiss Unpaid Overtime Claims Made by Employee

In the case of Thomas v. Wood River Drilling and Pump, Inc., Kevin Thomas filed a lawsuit against his former employer, Wood River Drilling and Pump (Wood River) and Brandon Freeman. Thomas filed this lawsuit against Wood River as a corporation and also Freeman, as an individual. Thomas claimed that Wood River regularly required him to work more than 40 hours per week without proper overtime compensation. 

Wood River had previously filed a motion to dismiss the original complaint but was considered unsettled after Thomas amended the complaint. Wood River argued that the amended complaint should also be dismissed for failure to state a claim. The court discussed two specific arguments made by Wood Rivers. First, the court addressed their claims that Thomas failed to sufficiently plead an FLSA claim on. The court found that Thomas met the standard by providing specific allegations about his work hours, lack of break times, and overtime worked. 

Secondly, the court addressed Wood River’s argument that Thomas failed to state a claim against Freeman as an individual. However, Thomas had alleged that Freeman had hiring and supervisory authority over his employment. The court ultimately denied Wood River’s motion to dismiss the amended complaint made by Thomas and decided to let the case move to trial.

Key lessons from this case:

  • Employees have the right to file an amended complaint to address deficiencies in an overtime lawsuit or respond to a motion to dismiss.
  • Individuals who exercise control over the employment relationship can be held liable under the FLSA.
  • Employees who seek to recover unpaid overtime compensation must provide strong evidence to support their claims.

Learn more about Idaho Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

When making this article we have tried to make it accurate but we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up-to-date. We therefore strongly advise you seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this article. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred for use of this article.