Idaho is an “employment-at-will” state. Therefore, an employer may generally terminate an employment relationship at any time and for any reason, unless a collective bargaining agreement, employment contract, existing law, or recognized public policy provides otherwise.
Despite a strong presumption in favor of the at-will standard, Idaho courts have held that statements and/or promises contained in an employee handbook may create an enforceable contract (Watson v. Idaho Falls Consolidated Hospitals, Inc., 720 P.2d 632 (ID 1986)).
For example, courts have bound employers to specific handbook “promises” regarding:
• Discharge policies
• Retirement benefits
• Vacation pay
Further, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal appeals court covering Idaho, has ruled that an employee handbook promising that the employer would provide workers ...