Compliance Watch:
What are my rights as a salaried employee in Idaho?

April 12th 2024

Understanding your rights as a salaried worker in the state of Idaho is pivotal in enjoying a healthy professional life.

The remuneration you receive for your dedicated work hours carries substantial importance in defining your position within the workplace. It’s crucial to note that workplace customs and contractual arrangements can differ significantly from one U.S. state to another. This might make you wonder about the extent of your employment rights and the extent you can put them into practice.

With this article, you will discover insights and resources essential to effectively navigate your work environment following the specific employment regulations governing the state of Idaho.

This Article Covers

Defining a Salaried Employee in Idaho
Common Questions About Salaried Employee Rights in Idaho
Understanding Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Status in Idaho
Wage and Hour Regulations in Idaho
Deductions, Benefits, and Protections in Idaho
Taking Action Against Violations in Idaho
Case Studies and Real-Life Scenarios of Salaried Employee Rights Violations in Idaho

Defining a Salaried Employee in Idaho

What is Salaried Employment in Idaho?

According to both the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and labor regulations in Idaho, salaried workers are those who receive a predetermined fixed amount of pay at regular intervals, typically weekly or less frequently. These employees are subject to specific guidelines governing their working conditions.

In Idaho, employers are obligated to disburse wages to their workforce monthly. The exact payday must be established in advance and should not extend beyond 15 days after the conclusion of the pay period. If the designated payday falls on a day when work is not scheduled, wages can be issued on the next working day.

Under the FLSA, certain employees are categorized as exempt, and this notably includes many salaried individuals, especially those in managerial, executive, administrative, professional, and computer science roles. If you are a salaried employee but do not occupy one of these positions, you may be classified as non-exempt, entitling you to receive overtime compensation.

What are the Key Differences Between Salaried and Hourly Employees in Idaho?

Aspect Salaried Employees Hourly Employees
Minimum Wage Laws Paid a fixed amount regardless of hours worked. Subject to the minimum wage in Idaho of $7.25/hour. 
Overtime Laws Overtime eligibility varies. Workers are classified as exempt under FLSA for certain positions. Eligible for overtime for work hours exceeding 40 hours in a workweek.
Paid Sick Leave & FMLA Salaried pay may include sick leave; specifics vary by employer. May earn paid sick leave and use it with unpaid FMLA leave.
Paid Vacation Salaried pay may include vacation; specifics vary by employer. May earn paid vacation based on hours worked and employer policies.
Maternity/Paternity Leave May have unpaid provisions. The duration and specifics vary by agreement with the employer. No guaranteed paid leave; terms depend on the employer’s policies.
Job Security Salaried employees typically enjoy more job security. Less job security as the work schedule can change.

To learn more about Idaho labor laws,  you can access our guides on your rights as an hourly employee in Idaho and Idaho salaried employees laws.

Common Questions About Salaried Employee Rights in Idaho

What are the Basic Rights of Salaried Employees in Idaho?

  • Anti-Discrimination Laws: All employees are protected against workplace discrimination based on the following characteristics: disability, national origin, ancestry, race, color, religion, gender, and military veteran status.
  • Whistleblower Protection Laws: Idaho shields salaried workers from retaliation when they report their employers’ unlawful actions or violations of state and federal regulations. This protection extends to offenses such as felonies, actions endangering public health, and solicitations for donations from employees.
  • Equal Pay: Idaho prohibits employers from discriminating among employees by offering a lower wage to employees of a specific sex or gender identity compared to others, under certain conditions. Employers are also barred from providing less favorable employment opportunities, as defined by the law, based on sex and gender identity.
  • Family and Medical Leave: Qualified employees can take unpaid leave for specific medical and family-related reasons under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
  • Meal and Rest Breaks: Labor laws in Idaho do not mandate that employers provide meal or rest breaks for adult employees.
  • Minimum Wage: Salaried employees in Idaho who are non-exempt have the right to receive the state’s minimum wage. However, this minimum wage standard may vary among counties in the state and is contingent upon the size of the business.
  • Overtime Pay: Non-exempt salaried employees are eligible to receive overtime compensation at a rate of 1.5 times their regular hourly wage for any hours worked beyond 40 hours in a single work week.

Is Overtime Pay Applicable to Salaried Employees in Idaho?

Yes, certain salaried workers in Idaho are eligible for overtime compensation. This encompasses a range of positions, including executives, professionals, administrative personnel, and outside sales representatives. For domestic service providers, overtime is compensated at a rate of one and a half times their standard hourly wage.  For an in-depth understanding of this topic, you can access our guide on Idaho overtime laws.

Can Employers Deduct Wages from Salaried Employees in Idaho?

Employers may not deduct any amount of an employee’s wages unless required by state or federal law. The employer may obtain written authorization to make deductions from an employee’s paycheck. 

However, In most cases, even with written authorization, the deduction cannot reduce wages below the minimum wage. If an employer can demonstrate that they’ve given an advance or provided a draw against the employee’s future wages, they are permitted to withhold the entire amount of that advance or draw from any subsequent paycheck.

Are Salaried Employees Eligible for Breaks and Leaves in Idaho?

Idaho law does not mandate employers to provide breaks or meal periods. Employees are only eligible for breaks if it is the employer’s practice to offer them.

Idaho employers are required to offer the following types of leave to their employees:

  • Family and Medical Leave: Under the FMLA, eligible employees can take extended unpaid leave while safeguarding their job security. To be eligible, employees must have worked for a covered employer for at least 12 months and accruing at least 1,250 hours. Those who qualify can take up to 12 weeks (480 hours) of unpaid leave for various situations, including caring for a newborn or foster/adopted child, attending to a family member with a severe illness, or dealing with a serious illness.
  • Military Leave: Within the family and medical leave program, there are special provisions for military personnel and their families. This includes Standard FML, which allows up to 12 weeks of leave for family members of military personnel on active duty or preparing for it. Under the Service member FML,  employers get up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a family member injured while on active military duty.
  • Jury Duty Leave: In Idaho, employers cannot penalize employees fulfilling their jury duty responsibilities. However, employers are not required to pay them for this time and may ask them to use their accrued leave instead.

Can Salaried Employees Request Flexible Work Arrangements in Idaho?

Flexible work arrangements like telecommuting are not an automatic entitlement for employees in Idaho; instead, its utilization is subject to the discretion of the appointing authority or their delegate. This decision is based on the approval of agency policy by the Division of Human Resources (DHR) Administrator. 

Before commencing telecommuting, there is a mandatory requirement for an employee telecommuting agreement, which necessitates agreement and signatures from the employee, their supervisor, and the agency’s appointing authority or their representative. It is crucial to clarify that this agreement does not confer any additional rights to employees, nor does it establish a new employment contract if one doesn’t already exist.

In cases where an agency intends to have an employee or employees work from a location outside the State of Idaho, they must first obtain approval from both DHR and DFM before hiring new personnel or allowing existing employees to regularly perform their assigned duties from an out-of-state location.

While this policy promotes workplace flexibility, it equally emphasizes the importance of accountability to ensure that all tasks are carried out efficiently and with measurable outcomes. Furthermore, this policy outlines the respective responsibilities of the agency, supervisors, and employees.

Understanding Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Status in Idaho

Understanding the distinction between exempt and non-exempt status allows salaried employees to navigate their rights and responsibilities effectively.

What is the Definition and Implications of Exempt Status in Idaho?

Exempt workers are employees who are not entitled to receive extra compensation for working overtime hours. In Maryland, the classification of whether an employee is exempt or non-exempt follows the categories established by the FLSA, where an employee’s salary, compensation structure, and job duties are used to determine their classification.

An employee is considered exempt if they meet the following conditions:

  • Exempt status applies to salaried employees earning more than $684 per week or $35,568 annually.
  • Employees should consistently receive a consistent regular salary within a designated pay period.
  • Employees who may be exempt from overtime pay hold certain job roles including executives or managerial personnel, administrators, skilled professionals, computer employees, and highly compensated employees.

What are the Differences Between Exempt and Non-Exempt Salaried Employees in Idaho?

Aspect Exempt Employees Non-exempt Employees
Entitlements Exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay. Non-exempt employees have the right to overtime pay.
Minimum Wage Exempt employees are entitled to a minimum hourly wage of $7.25. Non-exempt employees receive at least minimum hourly wage.
Overtime Compensation Exempt employees do not qualify for overtime pay. Non-exempt employees receive overtime pay at 1.5 times their regular rate for specific hours.
Meal and Rest Breaks Exempt employees are not entitled to breaks.  Non-exempt employees are entitled to specified meal and rest breaks as per the labor laws in Idaho.
Salary and Status Interaction Exempt status often necessitates a salary surpassing the minimum wage. Non-exempt status involves adherence to minimum wage laws and other legal protections.

How to Determine if You're Exempt or Non-Exempt in Idaho?

Idaho contains specific exemptions from its provisions for certain categories of employees. These exemptions include:

  • Employees serving in legitimate executive, administrative, or professional roles.
  • Individuals involved in domestic service.
  • Outside salespeople.
  • Seasonal workers participating in nonprofit camping programs.
  • Children under the age of sixteen who engage in part-time or occasional work for no more than four hours per day with a single employer.
  • Employees under the age of eighteen working for immediate family members or their family’s business.
  • Individuals employed in the agricultural sector.

Wage and Hour Regulations in Idaho

What are the Minimum Wage Requirements for Salaried Employees in Idaho?

Employers in Idaho are required by law to compensate their workers with a minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour.

Tipped employees should receive a minimum wage of $3.35 per hour. However, if the total tips received by the employee and the direct wages from the employer don’t meet the minimum wage, the employer is responsible for covering the shortfall.

How is Overtime Compensated for Salaried Employees in Idaho?

In Idaho, if a salaried employee eligible for overtime works for more than 40 hours within a single workweek, they will be entitled to receive overtime compensation at a rate equivalent to one and a half times their regular salary.

Deductions, Benefits, and Protections in Idaho

What are the Permissible Deductions from Salaried Employee Pay in Idaho?

In Idaho, employers cannot deduct extra amounts from an employee’s check without first getting written authorization.

What are the Provided Employee Benefits and Protections Under Idaho State Law?

  • Employers in Idaho are prohibited from discriminating against employees based on protected characteristics and are also barred from retaliating against workers. 
  • Employees in Idaho are guaranteed equal pay and safeguards against retaliation when they report discrimination or violations of labor laws.
  • Employees have rights to various types of leave, including domestic violence leave, jury duty leave, witness leave, and military leave.
  • Eligible employees in Idaho are entitled to earned sick leave benefits per the Earned Sick Leave Law.
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that all hours worked in Idaho must be compensated at the minimum wage rate, and additional hours should be compensated at one and a half times the regular rate as overtime pay.
  • Regulations pertaining to the hiring of underage individuals are outlined.

  • Taking Action Against Violations in Idaho

    How to Report Violations to Authorities or Labor Departments in Idaho?

    It’s important to be mindful of specific deadlines when it comes to initiating discrimination claims against your present or previous employer. If you suspect that you’ve been discriminated against, you can contact the Idaho Human Rights Commission (IHRC).  To maintain the IHRC’s capacity to provide support, it is crucial to get in touch with them without delay when you suspect any form of discrimination.

    Case Studies and Real-Life Scenarios of Salaried Employee Rights Violations in Idaho

    Employee Retaliation: Idaho Company Ordered to Pay More than $332K in Back Wages and Damages for Wrongful Termination.

    RCL Wiring LP, operating as Idaho & Sedalia Transportation Company was found guilty of retaliating against a signal shop technician for reporting a work-related injury that violates the Federal Railroad Safety Act. This was identified after the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted an in investigation

    In the U.S.DOL vs.  Idaho & Sedalia Transportation Company case, the investigation revealed that the company disciplined the technician, who had been with them for five years, when he reported injuries from an incident in February 2014. They required him to submit a second injury report and threatened disciplinary action for a late filing. Subsequently, on June 12, 2014, the company terminated him, claiming he had made harassing and threatening statements without a proper investigation. OSHA ordered the company to reinstate the technician, pay over $332,469 in back wages and damages, and remove disciplinary information from his record, emphasizing the importance of whistleblower protections.

    Lessons Learned from the Case

    • Whistleblower Protection: Employers must respect whistleblower protections, as retaliation against employees who report work-related injuries or safety concerns is illegal. This case highlights the consequences of violating these protections, including significant financial penalties.
    • Thorough Investigations: Employers should conduct thorough investigations into employee misconduct allegations before taking punitive actions. The company’s failure to do so in this case resulted in wrongful termination and further legal complications.
    • Compliance with Labor Laws: Companies must ensure compliance with labor laws, especially those related to workplace safety and employee rights. Non-compliance can lead to substantial penalties, damages, and legal fees, as demonstrated in this case.

    Employee Discrimination: University of Idaho Reaches Settlement in Racial Discrimination Case

    In the case of Shaakirrah Sander vs University of Idaho, former University of Idaho law professor Shaakirrah Sanders has reached a settlement of $750,000 in her racial and gender discrimination lawsuit against the university. This resolution comes after a mistrial occurred in October 2022 during the legal proceedings. Sanders, who initiated the lawsuit in June 2019, asserted that she had been twice overlooked for associate dean roles and faced retaliation when she raised concerns about pay disparities and discrimination.

    Additionally, she claimed that the university required her to teach more than the standard 12 credit hours per semester and removed her from classes related to her area of academic expertise. The settlement agreement, signed by a federal judge on September 13, entails a lump sum payment of nearly $45,000 to Sanders, followed by monthly payments of approximately $2,900 for 20 years, which will be funded by the university for $201,400. Sanders’ legal representation at Strindberg & Scholnick will also receive nearly $504,000. It is worth noting that the University of Idaho continues to deny any liability.

    Lessons Learned from the Case

    • Equality Matters: The case underscores the importance of treating individuals equally and addressing discrimination in educational institutions.
    • Persistence Pays Off: It shows the significance of persistence in pursuing justice through legal channels, even in challenging situations.
    • Financial Consequences: The substantial settlement and legal fees highlight the financial impact of failing to address discrimination issues, emphasizing the need for proactive prevention.

    Final Thoughts

    As a salaried employee in Idaho, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of your legal rights and protections. This knowledge isn’t just about protecting yourself from potential infringements, but it also empowers you to stand up for your welfare.

    Staying informed about any shifts in labor laws is vital to ensure a positive and fair work environment. Given the intricate nature of employment regulations, seeking expert guidance, such as consulting an employment attorney, reaching out to The U.S. Department of Labor, or contacting the Office of the Labor Commissioner, can provide you with invaluable insights and guidance.

    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.