Idaho Employee Handbooks laws & HR compliance analysis

Idaho Employee Handbooks: What you need to know

Employee handbooks should be drafted according to the particular needs of each individual workplace and according to the requirements of state and federal law. Employers should try to develop policies and procedures that reflect the company's size, employee needs, and company philosophy.
Employers should have an attorney familiar with state labor and employment laws review their handbooks for legal accuracy and timeliness. Outdated or erroneous policies can be just as dangerous as having no policies at all.
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Employers should exercise caution when developing handbooks and related policy statements. To avoid implied contract claims, employers should issue only general statements of policy in employee handbooks and should always include an explicit statement reserving the right to alter, amend, or change any handbook policy at any time and for any reason.
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 ...

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