In Idaho, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. ID Dept. of Labor: Labor Law Guide. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. ID Dept. of Labor: Labor Law Guide.
An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. See Ferguson v. City of Orofino, 131 Idaho 190, 953 P.2d 630 (1998); Jackson v. Minidoka Irrigation Dist., 98 Idaho 330, 563 P.2d 54 (1977).
An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time. See Ferguson v. City of Orofino, 131 Idaho 190, 953 P.2d 630 (1998); Jackson v. Minidoka Irrigation Dist., 98 Idaho 330, 563 P.2d 54 (1977).
Neither Idaho’s Legislature nor its courts have given any significant guidance regarding other potential vacation policy issues. They are silent regarding whether an employer may:
- establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment,
- deny payment for accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract is silent on the matter,
- require an employee to comply with specific requirements to qualify for payment of vacation leave upon separation from employment, such as giving two weeks notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year,
- implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.
Although Idaho’s authorities are silent regarding many vacation policy issues, based on the contractual emphasis Idaho courts have placed on vacation policies, an employer is likely free to implement the vacation policy of its choosing, including policies that deny or limit payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment. See ID Dept. of Labor: Labor Law Guide; Ferguson v. City of Orofino, 131 Idaho 190, 953 P.2d 630 (1998); Jackson v. Minidoka Irrigation Dist., 98 Idaho 330, 563 P.2d 54 (1977).
Idaho law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. An employer in Idaho may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
Idaho law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. In Idaho, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays. A private employer does not have to pay an employee premium pay, such as 1½ times the regular rate, for working on holidays, unless such time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws. If an employer chooses to provide either paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.
Visit our Idaho State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of Idaho as well as information regarding state laws governing holiday leave for public employers and employees.
Jury Duty Leave
An employer is not required to pay an employee for responding to a jury summons or serving on a jury.
An employer may not discharge, penalize, threaten, or otherwise coerce an employee who receives and/or responds to a jury summons or who serves on a jury. ID Statute 2-218
Idaho does not have a law which requires an employer to grant its employees leave, either paid or unpaid, to vote.
Idaho law does not require employers to provide employees bereavement leave or leave to attend funerals. Bereavement leave is leave that is taken by an employee due to the death of another individual, usually a close relative. Employers may choose to provide bereavement leave and may be required to comply with any bereavement policy or practice they maintain.
Family Medical Leave
Employers in Idaho must follow the rules set out in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if they have 50+ employees for 20+ weeks annually. As an employee, you could be eligible to receive a family medical leave ID if you meet the following criteria:
- You’ve worked a minimum of 1250 hours the prior year.
- You’ve worked for your company for at least 12 months.
- You work at a location with 50+ employees.
Employees can take family medical leave ID for several reasons. You can take it to bond with newborns, recuperate from medical conditions, or care for ill family members. There will be up to 12 weeks of leave available in 12 months on average.
Family medical leave in the state renews every 12 months if you meet the above criteria. Additionally, employees requiring military caregivers can take up to 26 weeks off within 12 months under the FMLA. However, there are additional requirements to consider.
Family medical leave requiring military caregivers is available per servicemember per injury. Unless the same family member is re-injured or another family member experiences a new injury, employees cannot take additional leave for the same purpose. Fortunately, you can continue your workplace health insurance while on family medical leave.
Upon completing family medical leave, employees must be offered the same position upon return.
In Idaho, military members may take up to 15 days of unpaid leave per year for military training. This leave will not affect the employee’s vacation time, sick leave, and other types of leave.
Additionally, it cannot affect an employee’s chances of obtaining a bonus, advancement, or other employment advantages.
Employees must provide up to 90 days’ notice of training dates before their departure. Otherwise, you could forfeit your access to said benefits. Also, military members in Idaho are entitled to the same benefits that the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) offers, including:
- Employees have the right to continue group healthcare benefits for 24 months of their leave
- Upon return, employees must be reinstated to the same (or equivalent) previously held position
- Employees must receive up to five years of unpaid leave for military service (with exceptions)