Compliance Watch:
What are my overtime rights in Idaho?

May 14th 2024

Overtime laws are designed to protect employees from exploitation and ensure fair working conditions. Since Idaho lacks specific overtime laws, federal regulations govern overtime policies. Understanding your rights is essential to receive fair compensation for any work beyond standard hours.

This article will explore Idaho’s statutes, regulations, and practices related to overtime work, providing answers to commonly asked questions.

This Article Covers

Understanding Overtime in Idaho
Common Questions About Overtime in Idaho
Legal Working Hours in Idaho
Overtime Eligibility in Idaho
    Overtime Payment Calculations in Idaho
      Receiving Overtime Payment in Idaho
      Violations of Overtime Law in Idaho

      Understanding Overtime in Idaho

      Is overtime pay mandatory in Idaho?

      Yes, in Idaho, as in other US states, overtime pay is mandatory. This means that non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay at 1.5 times their regular rate, for work exceeding 40 hours in a single workweek. A workweek is defined as 168 consecutive hours over seven 24-hour periods, starting on any day and time specified by the employer. Overtime is calculated weekly, without averaging across multiple workweeks. Some exemptions apply, but these must be approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. More information on exemptions and exceptions from overtime can be found in this Idaho Overtime Laws article.

      When do I qualify for overtime pay in Idaho?

      In Idaho, overtime pay is regulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). According to the FLSA, employees who work more than 40 hours per week must receive overtime pay at 1.5 times their regular wage, unless they are exempt. This applies to any consistent 168-hour period, regardless of the calendar week.

      Most Idaho employees are covered under this rule, as the state lacks its own overtime regulations. However, not all employees qualify for overtime pay. The FLSA exempts certain workers, such as professionals, administrators, and executives, who meet particular salary and duties criteria.

      How much is overtime pay in Idaho?

      Overtime is paid at a rate of ‘time and a half,’ meaning employees earn 1.5 times their regular hourly rate for any hours worked over 40 in a week. For instance, if an employee’s standard rate is $20 per hour, their overtime rate would be $30 per hour. With the minimum wage in Idaho being $7.25 per hour, the overtime minimum wage is $10.88 per hour.

      Which laws govern overtime in Idaho?

      As there are no state laws governing overtime in Idaho, federal laws apply. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandates the following: 

      • All non-exempt employees must receive overtime pay for each hour over 40 worked in a single workweek. 
      • The overtime rate is one and one-half an employee’s regular pay rate. 
      • Overtime pay is not mandatory for work performed on weekends, nights or holidays, unless overtime hours are worked during this time. 
      • There is no limit to the maximum number of hours an employee can be required to work.
      • The FLSA operates on a workweek basis, consisting of a period of 168 hours, or seven consecutive 24-hour periods. This workweek does not need to coincide with the traditional calendar week and can begin on any chosen day. Employers have the flexibility to set varying work weeks for their employees.

      Further details about overtime in Idaho can be found in Idaho Overtime Laws.

      Common Questions About Overtime in Idaho

      Do employers have to pay overtime in Idaho?

      Yes, employers in Idaho are required to pay overtime according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA requires employers to pay non-exempt employees at a rate of 1.5 times their regular hourly wage for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Certain employees may be exempt from overtime requirements based on their specific job duties and salary, such as executives, administrators, professionals, and some sales and computer workers. The current salary threshold for overtime exemption is  $684 per week. On July 1, 2024, this will increase to $844 per week ( $43,888 annually), then again on January 1, 2025, to $1,128 per week ($58,656 annually).

      Can an employee refuse to work overtime in Idaho?

      No, employees in Idaho cannot refuse to work overtime unless there are specific agreements or contracts in place. Employers have the right to set work schedules and can require employees to work overtime. If overtime is required and an employee refuses, the employer may take disciplinary action, including termination. Employers control scheduling, so they can require 12-hour workdays with minimal breaks and short-notice changes. However, employees must be compensated for these extra working hours.

      Can I take comp time instead of overtime pay in Idaho?

      Yes, employees in Idaho can take comp time instead of overtime pay, but only if they work in the public sector. Compensatory time or “comp time” is pre-approved time off given to employees instead of overtime pay, for extra hours or holidays. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), public-sector non-exempt employees are entitled to either compensatory time or overtime pay. Compensatory time must be used within a specific period, and employees can request overtime pay instead. In the public sector, comp time is allowed at a rate of 1.5 hours for every hour of overtime worked, but it must be agreed upon voluntarily.

      Can I get overtime pay in Idaho without employer approval?

      In Idaho, an employee’s entitlement to overtime pay applies, even if the overtime work was not explicitly approved by their employer beforehand. However, it’s important to note that working overtime without prior employer approval may result in disciplinary actions, including termination. Regardless of pre-approval company policies, your employer is legally obligated to pay overtime for any hours worked beyond 40 in a week. But it is advisable to keep accurate records of your hours worked and clarify overtime policies with your employer.

      Does Idaho have double-time pay?

      Idaho does not have specific state laws mandating double-time pay. The state follows the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which requires employers to pay non-exempt employees at an overtime rate of 1.5 times their regular hourly wage for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

      Some employers may offer double-time pay as part of their company policies or in union agreements, typically for working on holidays, Sundays, or for longer shifts, but this is not required by law. Employees should review their employment contracts or consult with their HR departments for specific company policies regarding double-time pay.

      What is working ‘off-the-clock’ in Idaho?

      Working “off-the-clock” refers to performing any job duties without pay. Employees often work “off-the-clock” to catch up or finish projects. Preparatory activities, like reading emails or cleaning up after a shift, also count as “off-the-clock” work.

      The Department of Labor (DOL) requires employers to pay for all extra hours worked, including tasks completed through lunch breaks. While mandatory overtime is legal, employers not paying for off-the-clock work could face lawsuits for unpaid wages. Businesses in Idaho can prevent these situations by training employees on off-the-clock policies and how to accurately record work hours. “Hours worked” generally includes all time spent on duty or at a designated workplace, as well as additional time that employees are permitted or allowed to work. More examples of “off-the-clock” work include:

      • Working during designated meal or rest breaks.
      • Handling preparations before the official start of a shift.
      • Completing tasks after a shift ends, such as cleaning or shutting down a work site.
      • Rework, such as redoing a project or correcting mistakes.

      What are common ways employers avoid paying overtime in Idaho?

      It’s important to recognize the legal loopholes that can result in employees working extra hours without overtime pay. Employers frequently bypass overtime obligations by:

      • Requiring Off-the-Clock Work: This involves tasks like preparing for shifts, answering calls, or post-shift duties. Employers must accurately track all work performed and pay employees accordingly. Assigning tasks outside regular hours without compensation is illegal.
      • Averaging Hours Worked: In bi-weekly or bi-monthly pay periods, some employers adjust schedules to reduce hours in one week to offset overtime worked in another. For example, an employee working 48 hours one week may be scheduled for only 30 the next week, creating an average of 40 hours to avoid paying overtime.
      • Providing Comp Time: Instead of paying overtime, employers may offer time off, such as giving Friday off after a double shift on Thursday to prevent exceeding 40 hours in a week.
      • Misclassifying Employees as Salaried: Employees earning over $1,280 per week in Idaho are considered salaried and exempt from overtime pay. Some employers misclassify those who earn less as salaried, which is against federal law.

      Can you work seven days in a row in Idaho?

      Under federal law, employers cannot require employees to work over 40 hours in a workweek without paying overtime. Idaho state law, like federal law, does not impose daily or weekly limits on work hours for employees aged 16 and older. The workweek is defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as a fixed 168-hour period over seven consecutive days. Once an employee’s workweek is established, it cannot be altered to manipulate the hours worked.

      Although working seven days consecutively isn’t restricted by law, it’s not advisable due to potential physical and mental strain. Regular breaks and sufficient rest are crucial to maintain productivity and well-being.

      How many ten-hour days can you work in a row in Idaho?

      Some states have a “ten-hour” overtime rule where overtime pay kicks in after an employee has worked more than ten hours in a single workday. As this rule is not part of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which regulates overtime in Idaho, there is no limit on the number of 10-hour days an employee can work consecutively. Employers have flexibility in setting work schedules, and employees aged 16 or older are generally permitted to work as many hours or days in a row as they choose.

      What are full-time hours in Idaho?

      Idaho state legislation defines a “full-time employee” as someone working a 40-hour workweek. In practice, however, employers may establish their own criteria for full-time employment based on their internal policies. Generally, a full-time job is considered one where employees work close to 40 hours per week, though some companies might set their threshold for full-time at slightly fewer hours.

      To clarify their employment status, employees should review their employment contract or company policy, since it’s possible to be considered full-time for some benefits or roles but not for others. For example, employees need to work 1,000 hours in a year to qualify for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) eligibility. Meanwhile, transportation workers may have limits on travel hours per day or week.

      How many hours straight can you legally work in Idaho?

      Idaho, along with federal law, does not impose limits on the number of hours employees aged 16 or older can work per day or week. While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines a “standard” shift as 8 hours daily for 5 days, with at least 8 hours of rest in between shifts, this is just a guideline. Consequently, there’s no limit on the number of consecutive days an adult can work, unless otherwise specified in a contract. Employers in Idaho must, however, pay their employees 1.5 times their regular rate for working hours exceeding 40 a week. 

      Special regulations are in place for minors. Child labor laws are regulated by federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) guidelines, categorizing minors as those under 16 or those aged 16-17.

      • Under 16: Minors aged 14 or 15 can work up to 3 hours daily or 18 hours per week during the school year, and 8 hours daily or 40 hours weekly during school breaks. They can work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the school year, extended to 9 p.m. between June and Labor Day.
      • Aged 16-17: They have no hourly restrictions.

      Is overtime after eight hours or 40 hours in Idaho?

      In Idaho, overtime applies to over 40 hours in a workweek, not eight hours in a day. Idaho follows the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for overtime regulations. According to this act, any non-exempt employee working over 40 hours in a workweek is entitled to overtime pay at 1.5 times their regular wage. A workweek is any 168-hour recurring period, not necessarily aligned with the calendar week.  

      Does working on the weekend qualify for overtime pay in Idaho?

      No, working on the weekend does not automatically entitle employees in Idaho to overtime pay. There are no specific rules for working on Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays. Standard overtime regulations apply throughout the week. If an employee who qualifies for overtime has already worked 40 hours in a week before the weekend begins, any additional weekend hours will be counted as overtime. Since employers can assign different workweeks to employees, it is important to know your work schedule to accurately calculate overtime.

      How many hours-off between shifts is required in Idaho?

      No federal law specifies the number of hours required between shifts, so employers are not legally required to provide breaks between consecutive shifts. However, certain regulated industries, like truck driving, may impose limits on the daily or shift working hours. Additionally, unionized employees might have time-off stipulations in their collective bargaining agreements.

      What does ‘hours-worked’ include in Idaho?

      In Idaho, the Hours Worked Act defines which hours are considered “hours worked”, for which employees can claim wages, damages, and attorney fees. The following activities do not fall under “hours worked”.

      • Checking in before the shift starts
      • Going to or returning from lunch
      • Time in change rooms, showering, or managing tools
      • Receiving instructions before shifts
      • Time on the employer’s premises after a shift
      • Returning tools or giving orders after shifts
      • Traveling to or from work
      • Waiting for wage payment
      • Other incidental activities before or after shifts
      • Meal periods of 30 minutes or longer, unless the employee is required to perform any work taste during these periods. 

      Whereas, short rest breaks of up to 20 minutes are usually considered paid time and must be counted as “hours worked.” The guidelines outlined in this law define the standard for hours worked unless an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement specifies otherwise. The agreement between the employer and employee can provide additional details or variations as long as it does not violate the fundamental protections and minimum standards set by labor laws. Therefore, unless such an agreement is in place, the default rules will apply for determining compensable hours.

      What is the most hours a salaried employee can work in Idaho? 

      Idaho generally follows federal employment and overtime laws, which do not limit the number of hours a salaried employee can work daily or weekly. As a result, salaried employees are expected to complete all assigned tasks, regardless of how much time it takes. Salaried employees, unless exempt under federal law, must receive overtime pay for any hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek.

      What is the maximum number of hours an hourly employee can work in Idaho?

      In Idaho, there are no state laws regulating working hours or overtime limits, so employees follow federal regulations. Federal laws do not set specific limits on work hours for non-exempt hourly employees, meaning those over 18 can work any number of hours per day or week. While Idaho doesn’t restrict the maximum hours one can work, non-exempt hourly employees must receive overtime pay for any hours worked beyond 40 in a week. On the other hand, those under 18 cannot work more than six consecutive days, and 16- and 17-year-olds can only work up to 30 hours weekly during school terms. Additionally, minors aged 14 or 15 are restricted to 3 hours of work per day or 18 hours per week during the school year.

      Overtime Eligibility in Idaho

      Who is eligible for overtime pay in Idaho?

      Most workers in Idaho are eligible for overtime pay after working over 40 hours a week. However, there are exceptions for those in executive, administrative, or professional roles earning at least $684 weekly. Idaho follows the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations which establish a salary threshold for overtime exemption.

      Who is exempt from overtime pay in Idaho?

      The FLSA recognizes specific situations where workers are exempt from overtime pay. This applies to employees earning at least $684 per week. On July 1, 2024, this salary threshold will increase to $844 per week ( $43,888 annually), then $1,128 per week ($58,656 annually) from January 1, 2025.  The following job roles also classify one as exempt from overtime pay in Idaho:

      • Executives, professionals, and administrative staff, including educators and computer workers
      • Outside salespersons
      • Staff at seasonal amusement and recreational facilities
      • Casual babysitters
      • Certain commissioned employees (auto, truck, farm equipment, and similar)
      • Taxi drivers
      • Farmworkers
      • Employees involved in specific agricultural operations
      • Workers for certain bulk petroleum distributors
      • Employees without a high school diploma who can spend up to 10 hours per week on remedial training at their regular pay rate
      • Hospital and residential care staff who can work a 14-day workweek

      Further information on jobs which are categorised as exempt as well as specific regulations that apply can be found on the official US Department of Labor website. 

      Can salaried employees get overtime pay in Idaho?

      Yes, salaried employees in Idaho can receive overtime pay according to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employees are considered non-exempt and eligible for overtime, unless they meet the following criteria:

      • Earn a minimum salary of $684 per week or $35,568 per year. This threshold will increase to $844 per week ($43,888 per year) on July 1, 2024, and to $1,128 per week ($58,656 per year) on January 1, 2025. Further increases will follow every three years starting July 1, 2027.
      • Hold a professional, administrative, or executive role.
      • Perform tasks requiring independent judgment and discretion.

      Overtime Payment Calculations in Idaho

      What is my regular rate of pay in Idaho?

      The regular rate of pay is what an employee earns per hour, which must at least meet Idaho’s minimum wage. Determining this rate is straightforward for hourly workers, as it corresponds to their standard hourly wage. However, it can be more complex for other types of employees:

      Salaried Employees:

      • Calculate their regular rate of pay by multiplying their monthly salary by 12 to find the annual salary.
      • Divide the annual salary by 52 to calculate the weekly salary.
      • Divide the weekly salary by the standard 40-hour workweek to get the hourly rate.

      Piecework or Commission Employees (Three Methods):

      • Calculate using the piece or commission rate.
      • Divide the total weekly earnings by the number of hours worked to find the hourly rate.
      • If working as part of a group, determine the group rate by dividing the total pieces by the number of group members. Multiply this rate by the number of hours an individual worked, to find their regular hourly rate.

      How do you calculate overtime in Idaho?

      In Idaho, following federal laws, overtime is paid at 1.5 times the employee’s standard hourly wage, known as “time and a half.” Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay when they exceed 40 hours in a workweek.

      To calculate overtime pay, follow these steps:

      • Determine the employee’s regular hourly wage.
      • Multiply this regular rate by 1.5 to obtain the hourly overtime rate.
      • Multiply the hourly overtime rate by the number of overtime hours worked to calculate the total amount owed.

      How is overtime taxed in Idaho?

      There’s no specific overtime tax in Idaho, but if an employee earns more through overtime, higher overall taxes may be withheld due to moving to a higher bracket. The same federal, state, and FICA taxes (Social Security and Medicare) apply to overtime as they do to regular earnings, with no need for separate calculations. Earning overtime can push an employee into a higher tax bracket. In such cases, their combined regular and overtime earnings will be taxed at a higher percentage.

      Receiving Overtime Payment in Idaho

      How is overtime paid in Idaho?

      In Idaho, overtime is paid similarly to regular wages, which may vary based on the employer’s or employee’s preferences and company policies. Employees must either be paid in cash, checks that can be cashed without a fee, or through direct deposit to the employee’s bank account if the employee authorizes it. Direct deposit is becoming more popular for its convenience. Employees should also receive a detailed wage statement, or paystub, in either digital or paper form.

      When do I receive my overtime paycheck in Idaho?

      According to state law, employers must pay employees at least once a month on predetermined paydays. If the regular payday falls on a non-workday, payment must be made on the preceding workday.

      Violations of Overtime Law in Idaho

      What if my employer refuses to pay me overtime in Idaho?

      The minimum wage in Idaho is currently $7.25 per hour, matching the federal rate. If an employer refuses to pay at least this wage or overtime, employees can file a wage claim with the Idaho Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Section. This can be done electronically or with a printed form and requires detailed information and documentation. Legal representation is optional. In Idaho, the statute of limitations for filing unpaid overtime claims is two years, but extends to three years if the employer knowingly violates the law. Filing an overtime complaint protects employees from retaliation by employers, such as threats, suspension, or termination.

      What is the penalty for failing to pay overtime in Idaho?

      In Idaho, employers who fail to pay overtime are subject to penalties enforced by the Idaho Department of Labor or through a lawsuit filed in court. Here are the potential consequences:

      • Administrative Penalties: Employers may face fines of up to $750 if they do not pay wages or overtime due after the end of employment. This penalty is reduced to $500 if wages are paid before the department files a state lien.
      • Court-Ordered Penalties: If a lawsuit is filed and the court rules in favor of the employee, the employer may have to pay:
        • The unpaid wages and penalties, or
        • Damages up to three times the amount of unpaid wages owed, whichever is greater.
        • Legal costs and attorney’s fees.

      How can I file a wage claim for overtime in Idaho?

      You can submit a wage claim electronically to the Idaho Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Section or use their printable form. Filing requires detailed information, such as your Social Security number, the employer’s contact details, the dates of your employment, the relevant pay period, and a record of hours worked. This process takes about 30 minutes. It’s essential to provide accurate information to determine the wage claim amount, as submitting a false claim is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail or a $1,000 fine.

      Filing a claim with the department is not your only option; you can also file a civil complaint in small claims court or consult an attorney. However, if you file with the department, the administrative process in Idaho Code Section 45-617 becomes your exclusive resolution method, and you waive your right to pursue a civil complaint.

      Can employers retaliate against employees for making a wage claim in Idaho?

      Not every action an employee finds unfair constitutes illegal retaliation or interference. Under the “at-will” employment doctrine in Idaho, employers can discipline or even terminate their employees for just about any reason. One exception to this rule is retaliation. Under Idaho Code § 45-613, an employer is prohibited from retaliating against or firing an employee for complaining about unpaid wages, filing a lawsuit for unpaid wages, or testifying in a wage claim investigation. This law provides grounds for employees to file additional claims for wrongful termination alongside unpaid wage claims. It ensures employees are protected when raising wage concerns or participating in investigations. However, the law does not prevent employers from disciplining or terminating employees for unrelated reasons.

      Learn more about Idaho Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

      Important Cautionary Note

      This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, we cannot guarantee that it is free of errors or omissions. Users are advised to independently verify any critical information and should not solely rely on the content provided.