State and federal laws prohibit an employer from terminating or otherwise retaliating against an employee for making a complaint against the employer for unlawful discrimination or reporting unlawful activity. Idaho is an “at will” state. This means that, absent a contract stating a specific length of employment, an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason, unless the reasoning behind the termination violates state or federal law. For example, employers are prohibited from terminating an employee because of his or her national origin, age, gender, disability, or religion.
An employer cannot create an abusive or hostile work environment because of an employee’s national origin, age, gender, disability, or religion. If an employer is aware of an abusive or hostile work environment and does not try to prevent it, the employer may be held liable for the hostile work environment.
At times, employers misclassify employees in certain positions with the company as “exempt” and pay them a salary, as opposed to an hourly wage, when the employees have little or no role in the management of the company and do not fall within the exceptions outlined in the FLSA. These employees are entitled to be compensated their back overtime wages for the hours worked over 40 hours per week, interest, court costs and attorneys’ fees. Furthermore, unless the employer can prove that they made the classification of the employee in “good faith,” the employer will also be responsible for paying the employee liquidated damages which is double the amount of back overtime pay. Please click here to learn more about our Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) experience.