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Fair Compensation In the Idaho Workplace

Fair compensation to employees is vital to the health and prosperity of any Idaho business. In determining what constitutes fair compensation, there are legal requirements that all employers must follow. There are also many benefits an employer should consider extending to its Idaho employees. Providing these benefits, although not legally required, will help attract and retain the best employees.

Legal Requirements

Regarding legal requirements, there are certain Idaho and federal laws that govern compensation to workers. For example, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets a federal minimum wage or the lowest hourly rate that employers can pay employees (assuming an exception does not apply). States are free to set a high minimum wage, but Idaho, like many states, has not chosen to do so. Its Minimum Wage Law states that minimum wage will “conform to, and track with, the federal minimum wage.” Currently, minimum wage is set at $7.25 an hour. The FLSA also imposes overtime pay to non-exempt employees, which requires that each employee be paid time and a half for each hour beyond forty hours worked each week.

Under the FLSA—or the Equal Pay Act, which is part of the FLSA—Idaho employers must treat women and men equally. Specifically, men and women who do the same work for the same company and who have substantially the same skills and abilities and who are required to exert substantially the same effort must be compensated the same. However, the Equal Pay Act does not prevent employers from compensating employees differently based on seniority or merit. Failing to comply with this or other provisions of the FLSA can subject Idaho employers to lawsuits and penalties.

Other Compensation Considerations

Although many components of fair pay are required by Idaho or federal law, many are not. When an employee decides whether or not to accept a job, he or she does not only consider an hourly wage or salary when determining whether the compensation is fair or adequate. Rather, compensation includes a variety of monetary and non-monetary components, ranging from the employee’s base salary, retirement plans, bonuses, and other cash benefits to benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, holidays, work culture, and other employee incentives. The better the entire compensation package, the more likely a business is to have the most talented and motivated employees. It will make the company more competitive and productive.

While all elements of compensation are helpful in attracting better employees, different benefits are likely to attract different types of employees. For example, younger and single candidates may be most attracted by the job that pays the highest base salary, giving less thought to other benefits. Thus, if an employer runs a business in an Idaho market where employees tend to be younger, a higher base salary might be proper. On the other hand, job candidates who have families to support are likely going to give more weight to a flexible job schedule or a better health insurance package.

We Can Help

Every Idaho employer should be sure to comply with Idaho and federal laws when compensating its employees. It should also give great weight to other compensation factors that will motivate its employees and increase company morale. Our team of Idaho Employment and Labor Law attorneys at Racine Olson is well equipped to ensure that your business adheres to all applicable Idaho and federal laws, and it is also able to provide you valuable legal guidance as you extend other compensation benefits to your employees. This team includes Lane Erickson, a partner at Racine Olson who has received the highest possible rating of “AV” by Martindale Hubbell and from AVVO and JUSTIA for his ethics and legal ability. Our team also includes Nolan Wittrock who has high ratings from clients and peers on AVVO and JUSTIA and are experienced in all employment matters. Please call us toll-free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a free consultation with one of our various Idaho Employment and Labor Law attorneys. You can also send us an e-mail at _racine@racinelaw.net.

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