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…)
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 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.
Employees at Wal-Mart, Inc., who worked long hours without overtime pay, have been vindicated by a settlement between the retailer and the U.S. Labor Department.
Wal-Mart is not off the hook as far as other payroll issues are concerned. The settlement, according to sources, only covers the specific violations in the consent judgment, and won’t stop workers from filing complaints with the Labor Department. Ongoing litigation is unaffected as well.
The retailer was essentially accused of circumventing U.S. Department of Labor regulations by declaring certain workers salaried employees, thus trying to exempt them from regulations requiring that anyone working more than 40 hours a week be paid overtime. Howard Johnson’s used the same tactic in the 1980’s, when it hired so-called “assistant managers” who worked 80 hours or more a week in their restaurants. What’s more, the “assistant managers” washed dishes, worked as waitpersons, and bused tables.
In Wal-Mart’s case, the employees involved were declared “non-exempt salaried” workers, according to the ruling. As a result, they were entitled to overtime pay.
It’s not true that all salaried employees lack the protection of the overtime regulation. In fact, according to U.S. and Idaho minimum wage laws, anyone – including salaried workers – who makes less than $455 a week or $23,660 a year is protected by the regulation. Even then, only certain salaried people would be exempt. The guidelines require that the manager must have substantial decision-making authority and have the ability to hire and fire. Otherwise, he or she is still protected by the overtime law.
The manager trainees in the case worked long hours but were not supervisors. Some earned less than the $23,600 exemption ceiling.
The state of Idaho has moved to link its state minimum wage to the federal minimum wage. At current, the state of Idaho already had the federal minimum wage as its wage—$5.15 per hour. But this change will play an interest part for employers—possibly within a couple weeks or months—when the seeming inevitable happens and the new federal minimum wage gets passed. Then the Idaho minimum wage could see the same three wage increases over the next couple of years, culminating in a final Idaho minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
The bill that changed the Idaho minimum wage labor laws is called House Bill 184, which says that the Idaho minimum wage will follow whatever the federal minimum wage does in terms of the timing of changes and the amount of the increases. The law in Idaho diverges from the federal minimum wage labor law proposed by Congress in Washington DC—the Idaho minimum wage law allows employers of employees under the age of 20 to be paid a lower minimum wage of $4.25 per hour for the first three months on the job. Of course, employers cannot get rid of other employees in order to hire these discounted minors.
The Idaho bill also changed the way that state will handle the so called tipped credit. As we all know by now, the tipped credit allows employers to pay their tipped workers less than the regular minimum wage, under the assumption that the difference is made up by the tips that the employees get from their customers. The new tipped employee minimum wage in Idaho, under the new House Bill 184, will be $3.35 per hour, and again, this minimum wage could be more if the employee does not make enough tips to catch up with the regular minimum wage.