In addition to the time off work your employer provides in the form of vacation time, sick leave, personal days, or personal time off (PTO), you may also have the right to take time off work for specific reasons under federal and Idaho laws. For example, if you are caring for a seriously ill family member or recovering from childbirth, you may be legally entitled to take time off under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Although Idaho does not have its own family and medical leave law, it does require employers to give employees time off for military service and jury duty.
This article provides an overview of your right to time off from work in Idaho. For more information, see our page on employee leave rights.
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year to care for a seriously ill family member (a spouse, parent, or child only), to recuperate from their own serious health conditions, to bond with a new child, or to handle certain practical matters arising from a family member’s military service. The FMLA also requires employers to give employees up to 26 weeks off to care for a family member who suffers or exacerbates a serious illness or injury during military service. (For purposes of this military family leave provision only, employees may take leave to care for a broader set of family members, including siblings, grandparents, and cousins, if they are next of kin to an injured service member.)
The FMLA applies to employers in all states with 50 or more employees. Only employees who have worked for the employer for 12 months and have worked 1,250 hours in the 12 months before taking leave are eligible for FMLA leave. (Learn more about the FMLA at our Taking Family and Medical Leave page.)
While some state laws provide additional family and medical leave rights, Idaho is not one of them.
Another federal law, the Unformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), gives eligible employees the right to be reinstated to their jobs after taking up to five years off to serve in the U.S. military. For a year after their return from service, these employees may be fired only for good cause. USERRA also prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on their military service. (Learn more about USERRA in Taking Military Leave.)
The laws of many states extend similar rights to employees who serve in the state’s military (such as the militia) or are called to state active duty. In Idaho, employees who are members of the Idaho National Guard (or the national guard of another state) have the right to take unpaid leave when ordered to active military duty by their state’s governor. Employees are entitled to reinstatement when their service is through, and they may not be fired without cause for one year after returning from military service. Employees who are members of the national guard or reserves are also entitled to take up to 15 days of unpaid leave per year for training, as long as they give theirs employers at least 90 days' notice of the need for leave.
Idaho law also gives employees the right to take time off work, without fear of retaliation, for the civic responsibility of serving on a jury. An employer that fires or discriminates against an employee for showing up to jury duty can face criminal sanctions. This time off is unpaid. Under federal law, however, employers typically cannot deduct an exempt, salaried employee’s pay for time spent serving on a jury, unless the employee did no work for the entire week. (For more information, see our article on pay docking.)