Employment Discrimination in Idaho

Workers in Idaho who have been a victim of discrimination in the workplace may be eligible to file a claim. Idaho workplace discrimination takes place when a worker is unfairly treated for being a member of a protected group which includes race, color, sex, age (persons older than 40 years and disability.

If there is sufficient evidence available to prove the employer discriminated against an employee based on a protected feature then he or she may be able to file a complaint about this sort of behavior.

What Kind of Discrimination Laws Are in Place in Idaho?

The Idaho Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, or disability (ID Code Sec. 67-5901 et seq.). This Act is applicable to all public and private employers with 5 or more employees. It also applies to contractors that offer goods or services to the state. Under this Act, it is illegal for an employer to:

  • fail or refuse to hire, discriminate or discharge an individual based on his or her protected feature;
  • print or publish an advertisement for a job which indicates a preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on religion, sex, national origin, or age unless it is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) for employment;
  • retaliate against any worker who has filed a case of discrimination.


Who is Protected by Federal and State Laws in Idaho?

A protected group when it comes to workplace discrimination under both Idaho state laws and federal laws is based on race, color, sex, age, persons older than 40 years and disability.

What Employers are Covered by Discrimination Laws in Idaho?

The Idaho anti-discrimination law covers a few of the smaller employers which are not covered by federal law. If your workplace has from 5 to14 employees, you should file your workplace discrimination claim with the Idaho Human Rights Commission (IHRC0).

The EEOC enforces federal law which covers employers with just 15 or more employees. If your workplace has 15 or more employees, you may choose to file your workplace discrimination in Idaho with either agency.

Which Idaho Agencies Regulate These Laws?

The Idaho Human Rights Commission (IHRC) handles cases of workplace discrimination when the employer has violated state discrimination laws.

How Do I File A Discrimination Claim in Idaho?

Workplace Discrimination claims can be filed either with the state administrative agency which is the Idaho Human Rights Commission (IHRC) or with the federal administrative agency which is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

These two agencies have a "work-sharing agreement," which typically means that the two agencies cooperate with one another when processing workplace discrimination claims. It is not necessary to file a claim with both the two agencies, as long as you inform one of the agencies that you wish to "cross-file" your claim with the other agency.

If you are filing your claim with the EEOC this agency offers an online service that allows individuals who have filed a workplace discrimination charge to check their complaint’s status online. This service offers a way to upload and receive documents and communicate with the EEOC, so that the whole process is much quicker.

When you have filed your complaint, the EEOC will provide you with a copy of your charge with the charge number. Within 10 days, the EEOC will send you a notice and a copy of the charge to your employer. At that point, the EEOC may decide to do one of the following:

  • ask you and your employer to participate in mediation;
  • ask your employer to respond in writing to the workplace discrimination charge and answer questions related to your claim, then the charge will be transferred to an investigator
  • dismiss the claim if your charge was not filed before the deadline or if it is not relevant to the EEOC.


How Long Do I Have to File an Employment Discrimination Claim in Idaho?

Whoever you choose to file your workplace discrimination claim with there are strict time limits given to file your claim. Under Idaho state law, you must file with the IHRC (or cross-file with the EEOC) within 12 months of the date the workplace discrimination in Idaho took place.

Under federal law, you are required to file with the EEOC (or cross-file with the state agency) within 300 days of the date when the discrimination took place.

How do I Get Help Filing Employment Discrimination in Idaho?

If your workplace discrimination case is not solved by the IHRC or EEOC you may need to pursue your claim in court. A federal employment discrimination claim cannot be heard in court without going to the EEOC first and having the EEOC dismiss your case.

This process is called "exhaustion" of the administrative remedy. Following this you can now proceed with a lawsuit in Idaho.  At this point you should consider seeking help from a lawyer.


Additional Resources

List of EEOC Offices in Idaho

Idaho Workplace Sexual Harassment