New Idaho Minimum Wage Law
As increased minimum wage laws sweep the nation, many Idaho employers have carefully watched the Idaho legislature to monitor laws regarding sick leave or minimum wage. Idaho, with its minimal employment laws, has the 7th lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3.4%.
In 2016, Idaho lawmakers decided they wanted to keep the state business friendly and passed the state’s first ever minimum wage law affecting private employers.
The new law was a measure to maintain consistency in Idaho and make it easier for local businesses to expand without being forced to navigate through a terrain of local employment laws.
An Act relating to Minimum Wage, or HB 463, was passed into law in March 2016. The law’s main purpose is to “revise obsolete language and to prohibit political subdivisions of this state from establishing minimum wages higher than the minimum wages provided in this section.” Idaho is one of 19 states with preemptive employment laws including Louisiana, Missouri, and Georgia.
In other words, the bill set the State’s minimum wage at the same level as the Federal Minimum wage of $7.25 and $3.35 for tipped employees.
This means that local states and cities are not allowed to pass any minimum wage laws above the Federal minimum wage level.
Sick Leave In Idaho
Idaho law down not require any form of paid or unpaid sick leave benefits for employers. Further, Idaho law does not require vacation, holiday or severance pay, rest periods or breaks and premium pay holidays.
In fact, on the Idaho Department of Labor’s website it states that “These items are matters for agreement between the employer and the employee or their authorized representative.”
However, that doesn’t mean that employers don’t have to be aware of Federal laws regarding sick and medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Family and Medical Leave Act
Qualifying Idaho employers are still required to provide Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)to employees who also qualify under the Federal law. Employers become qualified when they have at least 50 employees at least 20 weeks of the year.
Employees become eligable when they have worked for the meployer for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months. In addition, the employee has to work in a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius of the employee.
Under FMLA, employees can take protected time off work to care for themselves or a family member w ho has a serious or chronic health condition. This could include taking time of to treat asthma, get dialysis, obtain cancer treatment or other chronic health conditions.
In addition, anytime an employee is unable to work for at least 3 days or more and has to be treated by a health care provider are covered under FMLA.
Further, anytime that an employee is treated overnight at the hopsital for an illness or injury would also qualify as FMLA leave.
Its important to note that the employee does not have to specifically request FMLA leave. If the employee gives enough information for the employer to recognize that the leave qualifies for FMLA leave, then the employer is under obligation to recognize and document the leave as FMLA.
Thus, employers in Idaho are required to provide a type of sick leave for employees. Although most employees would not qualify to take time off for the common cold or flu, FMLA leave does provide a way for employees to obtain medical care and take protected time off due to illness and injury.
In addition, employees are allowed to take FMLA leave in partial days or in less than 3 day increments. Thus employers must be aware of the purposes for employee leave and be knowledgeable about the law and document fully the leave reasons.
Idaho Employment Record Keeping Requirements
Idaho Employment law requires that employers maintain certain records for at least three years. When employees file a dispute with the Idaho Department of Labor, the department will depend on employer records to acertain whether or not the employer is in violation.
An absence of these records will imply that the employer may have violated employment law.
Employers in Idaho are required to maintain records for at least three year. Employment records must include the following information:
- Employees personal information: name, address, occupation, sex, date of birth (for employees under the age of 19)
- Hour and day when work commenced
- Total hours worked each day and each workweek
- Total daily or straight time earnings
- Regular hourly pay rate
- Total overtime pay for each week
- Deductions from wages
- Total wages paid each pay period
- Date of payment of wages and pay period covered.
Although these requirements can be very difficult and almost impossible to adequately maintain manually, there is a better and cost efficient way for employers to maintain records and to protect themselves from employment violations and penalties.
Let SwipeClock Help
It is more important than ever for both large and small employers to have the tools in place that helps them track employee hours and be able to provide reporting in regards to employee hours time cards.
Idaho has state specific laws in place regarding employee time card and benefits. These laws have fines and penalties applied to them for companies that violate the regulations. Idaho employers that wait until after a complaint or state investigation to place the proper software in place will pay thousands more in fines and penalties than companies who take steps now to ensure compliance.
SwipeClock provides a comprehensive array of workforce management and time tracking tools that can help businesses to more easily stay in compliance with local and national laws.
SwipeClock provides both the time and attendance tools and the workforce management software for employers to track and provide the reports that prove they are complying with state laws.
One of the most important aspects of compliance is the ability to provide the required reporting of employees, benefits, and hours worked from and audit standpoint.
Records are effortlessly kept for years and accrual is automatically tracked and reported to employees according to the state and city laws.
Written by Annemaria Duran. Last updated May 30, 2017