Both the Idaho minimum wageand the federal minimum wage increased in 2007 from $5.15 to $5.85 and again in 2008 from $5.85 to $6.55.
Though this increase may create hardship for employers in this struggling economy, 2009 is the last scheduled increase for the federal minimum rate. At this time, no increase is scheduled for 2010.
Idaho state minimum wage covers the smaller employers. The Idaho minimum wage law is enforced by the Wage and Hour Division of the Idaho Department of Labor.
FLSA covers several different types of employers, (more…)
The grant will train workers and develop the regional economy in Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Shoshone counties, in Idaho.
On July 24, 2008, when the federal minimum wage increases, the Idaho minimum wage will go up, as well. Section 44-1502 of the Idaho Code guarantees that the majority of Idaho employees are paid the state minimum wage.
The Idaho minimum wage, as a result of House Bill 184, is tied to the federal minimum wage. The bill passed in 2006, and went into effect on July 24, 2007. When the federal minimum wage goes up on July 24, 2008, the Idaho minimum wage will increase, too, from $5.85 per hour to $6.55 per hour.
The new NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) expands FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for eligible military families.
Every employer in Idaho and across the nation should be aware that the NDAA requires them to post the new Military Family Leave notice.
President George W. Bush signed the NDAA into effect on January 28, 2008, which allowed families to take leave as of that date. The final NDAA regulations have yet to be issued, but until the Secretary of Labor publishes the final ones, employers are asked to “act in good faith” and grant leave to eligible military families.
The extended FMLA allows family members of active military, National Guard and Reserve personnel who are called to active duty, to take leave to care for that person when ill or injured. Included within the NDAA definitions of treatment are mental and physical therapy, outpatient treatments and care for military personnel temporarily disabled due to illness or injury.
The new NDAA also amends the definition of family. Prior to the signing of the 2008 NDAA, “family” was defined as parent, spouse or child. The extended FMLA adds in-laws, cousins, aunts and uncle to that definition in some cases, as the “next-of-kin.”
A second benefit of the extended FMLA is to allow these family members to stand in for military personnel on active duty. For instance, Reservist Joe is called to active duty, but has no one to take care of his kids. His wife could take FMLA leave to care for Joe’s children. Another example is Dave, an Army tank driver. His wife is ill. While he’s on active duty, his cousin Janice could take FMLA leave to care for Dave’s wife.
Enforcement of this new NDAA law comes under the U. S. Department of Labor, specifically the Wage and Hour Division. A poster of this new NDAA Military Family Leave must be permanently posted in a spot visible to all workers. This new poster is in addition to state and federal posters already required. Companies who do not immediately comply with this law will face penalties.
In January of 2008, President Bush signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which will expand the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act). The FMLA was enacted in 1993 and has not been updated until the NDAA.
The FMLA was a groundbreaking federal law providing employees with a serious illness up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave. When the worker returned, the employer had to provide the worker with the same job, or one with similar wages, working atmosphere, duties and benefits.
FMLA could be used for personal illness and so the employee could care for a seriously ill parent, spouse or child. Also, FMLA could be taken to care for a newborn, a newly fostered child (under age 18) or for a newly adopted child.
Prior to FMLA, an employee that grew ill and had to miss a lot of work often got fired. Company policies regarding extended absences for illness (heart attack, surgery, etc.) varied widely. Most situations were handled on a case by case basis. More often than not, if an employee missed more than a couple weeks of work, he or she was simply fired.
FMLA has some eligibility requirements. Businesses must employ 50 or more workers within 75 miles of the work site. Workers must have been with the company for the previous 12 consecutive months, and worked at least 1,250 hours.
According to the U. S. Department of Labor, the NDAA will expand FMLA leave, but the regulations are not yet finalized. Publication of the expanded FMLA regulations should occur in the near future.
Two changes were published on February 11, 2008. The Labor Department issued revisions in the FMLA certification process and in the time frame for employers to notify workers of their FMLA rights.
In addition, a major change has been made to the process of reporting absences. Prior to the revisions, employees did not have to report an FMLA absence in advance. The new changes will require workers to follow standard procedure for taking leave, which usually means notifying the employer prior to the beginning of a shift.
Under Section 44-1502 of the Idaho Code, most employees in the state may not be paid less than the minimum wage.
The Idaho Legislature passed House Bill 184 in 2006, which states that Idaho’s minimum wage will conform to the federal minimum wage. That law went into effect on July 24, 2007. In addition, the Idaho Legislature froze the wage for tipped employees at $3.35 per hour, and it will not increase as the minimum wage does. However, employers are still required to show that tipped employees are earning at least the new minimum wage when tips are included.
Tipped employees in Idaho can currently be paid $3.35 per hour. That rate will be unchanged under the new minimum wage. Tipped workers are those who earn more than $30 per month in tips, and are engaged in an occupation in which he or she customarily and regularly receives tips. If a tipped workers cash salary plus tips are less than the minimum wage, the employer must pay the difference. Beginning on July 24, 2008, that means that tipped workers must average $3.20 per hour in tips over the payroll week.
State law permits employers to pay an “opportunity wage” of $4.25 per hour to workers under 20 years of age, during their first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment with an employer.
Under Idaho law, when a worker is terminated, he or she must be paid within 10 days or on the next regularly scheduled payday, whichever is sooner. However, if the terminated employee makes a written request for earlier payment, he or she must be paid within 48 hours. Weekends and holidays are excluded.
All state minimum wage and wage payment laws are enforced by the Wage and Hour Section of the Idaho Department of Labor.
Idaho does not have an overtime law at the state level. Instead, most workers are entitled to 1.5 times the usual hourly rate when working over 40 hours per week, under federal law.
Every Idaho employer is required to display a current Idaho minimum wage poster in a conspicuous place where it can be viewed by employees.
Idaho More Minimum Wage
There are a number of exceptions to the Idaho minimum wage law detailed in Section 44-1502 of the Idaho Code. The state minimum wage law does not apply to executives, administrators or professionals, to independent contractors or outside salespeople. Seasonal workers are also exempt.
Domestic workers are also exempt from the Idaho minimum wage. So are workers under the age of 16 working part-time or at odd jobs for a single employer. However, these youths must be working no more than 4 hours per day.
Some agricultural workers are exempt from the Idaho minimum wage law. To be exempt, an agricultural worker must be older than 16 years of age and employed by a parent, spouse, child or another member of his or her immediate family. Alternatively, the employee may be hired on a piece-rate basis to harvest a crop, but only if the worker has been employed in agriculture less than 13 weeks during the preceding calendar year.
Under state law, an Idaho employer may not withhold any portion of the worker’s wages unless a) the employee has given written permission or b) the employer is required to under state or federal law. Employees often give permission for employers to withhold 401K contributions, health insurance premiums and similar deductions. Examples of deductions required by state or federal law include FICA and income tax withholding.
In most cases, an Idaho employer cannot make any deductions to a paycheck that will result in the employee earning less than the minimum wage, even with the employee’s permission. If an employer gives a worker an advance or draw against future wages, the employer cannot withhold the entire amount from any future paycheck, because that will result in the employee earning nothing in that payroll period.
Idaho employers are not required to pay the minimum wage to independent contractors. However, the state sets strict guidelines for who can be included in that category. Under state law, an independent contractor is free from direction and control over how the work is performed. Generally this means that, among other things, the employer cannot dictate when or where the work is performed. Some Idaho laws require that independent contractors be established businesses. This may include having business income and business expenses. Tax Representatives at the Idaho Department of Labor assist employers and workers in making determinations on who is an independent contractor.