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Typical minimum wage earner is female, age 20+, part-time, and in a food service occupation.
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Minimum Wage Should Be
$15/hour, minimum of 4 hour shift paid if scheduled.
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44-1502. Minimum wages. (1) Except as hereinafter otherwise provided, no employer shall pay to any of his employees any wages computed at a rate of less than seven dollars and twenty-five cents ($7.25) per hour for employment. The amount of the minimum wage shall conform to, and track with, the federal minimum wage.

(2) In determining the wage of a tipped employee, the amount of direct wages paid by an employer to the employee shall be deemed to be increased on account of tips actually received by the employee; provided however, the direct wages paid to the employee by the employer shall not be in an amount less than three dollars and thirty-five cents ($3.35) an hour. If the tips actually received by the employee combined with the direct wages paid by the employer do not at least equal the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference. In the event a dispute arises between the employee and the employer with respect to the amount of tips actually received by the employee, it shall be the employer’s burden to demonstrate the amount of tips actually received by the employee. Any portion of tips paid to an employee, which is shared with other employees under a tip pooling or similar arrangement, shall not be deemed, for the purpose of this section, to be tips actually received by the employee.

(3) In lieu of the rate prescribed by subsection (1) of this section, an employer may pay an employee who has not attained twenty (20) years of age a wage which is not less than four dollars and twenty-five cents ($4.25) an hour during the first ninety (90) consecutive calendar days after such employee is initially employed. No employer may take any action to displace employees (including partial displacements such as reduction in hours, wages or employment benefits) for purposes of hiring individuals at the wage authorized in this subsection.

(4) No political subdivision of this state, as defined by section 6-902, Idaho Code, shall establish by ordinance or other action minimum wages higher than the minimum wages provided in this section.


[44-1502, added 1955, ch. 154, sec. 2, p. 301; am. 1963, ch. 9, sec. 1, p. 20; am. 1967, ch. 411, sec. 1, p. 1222; am. 1971, ch. 123, sec. 1, p. 422; am. 1976, ch. 38, sec. 1, p. 80; am. 1990, ch. 132, sec. 1, p. 305; am. 1990, ch. 212, sec. 1, p. 479; am. 1997, ch. 309, sec. 1, p. 916; am. 1998, ch. 107, sec. 1, p. 367; am. 2007, ch. 357, sec. 1, p. 1056.; am. 2016, ch. 145, sec. 1, p. 412.]


Some Walmart employees draw SNAP.  Why do tax payers regularly subsidize corporate payrolls in this way?

Corporations use the labor laws to take advantage of the lowest paid. 

Walmart on Tax Day - How Taxpayers Subsidize


Benny Fitz

Do you own stock in a company that puts profits before fair wages?

Locally, McDonalds offers positions above the $7.25 minimum wage at $9.00.  That's a step in the right direction?  


Tess Timonial

Would you ask companies to volunteer to pay above current minimum wage?

Consumers be aware that when you dine out, the waitstaff is likely paid $3.35 hour.  Stocking, cleaning, and other duties are required of the employee while the employer pays barely enough to collect tax deductions. A paycheck of few cents, dollars, or $0, are actually received as payroll. Laws make sure to collect taxes, but don't ensure livable wages.


Hugh Canduit

Could you live on tips alone?

What’s the most effect way to effect change in wage law?

What will you do to help?

Most statistics in this blog are based on minimum wage.  There is little 

information about those earning wages above minimum wage, yet under $15/hour.

Where we've been and where we are...

July 10, 2017

Raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2024 would lift wages for 41 million American workers

Report • By David Cooper • April 26, 2017 

"The federal minimum wage was established in 1938, as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), to help ensure that all work would be fairly rewarded and that regular employment would provide a decent quality of life."

"In 2016, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 was worth 10 percent less than when it was last raised in 2009, after adjusting for inflation, and 25 percent below its peak value in 1968."


In the State of Idaho, counties cannot vote in different wages than state law. Tipped employees must be paid equal or better than $3.35 per hour. Minimum wage must be equal or better than national minimum wage of $7.25.  ________________________________________

Idaho Minimum Wage Rates as of July 2017

IDAHO Basic Minimum Rate ($7.25 per hour) Daily and Weekly


Consolidated State Minimum Wage Update Table

(Effective Date: 01/01/2017)

Greater than federal MW (29 States + DC)

Equals federal MW of $7.25 (14 States) (Some states have sub categories)

Less than federal MW (2 States)

No MW Required (5 States) Which makes 29 states above and 21 states using national minimum wage; some states, like Idaho, invoke law of sub wages for IE. tipped employees at IE. $3.35.

AK - $9.80
GA - $5.15
AR - $8.50
WY - $5.15
AZ - $10.00
CA - $10.50
CO - $9.30
CT - $10.10
DC - $11.50
DE - $8.25
FL - $8.10
HI – $9.25
IL - $8.25
MA - $11.00
MD - $8.75
ME - $9.00 (effective 1/7/17)
MI - $8.90
MN - $9.50
MO - $7.70
MT - $8.15
NE - $9.00
NJ - $8.44
NM - $7.50
NY - $9.70
NV - $8.25
OH - $8.15
OR - $9.75
RI - $9.60
SD - $8.65
VT - $10.00
WA - $11.00
WV - $8.75

R42973 Inflaction and the Real Minimum Wage: A Fact Sheet

R43089 Congressional Research Service The Federal Minimum Wage: In Brief

Cost of Living

July 10, 2017

The cost of living in Idaho is at about 95 percentile to the nation. Wages are about 80 percentile which means Idahoans survive on 15% less than other Americans. Also, Americans survive on about 25% less than in 1968.

2013 United Way Alice Report

Median Household Income - (check out page 4) 

ALICE, an acronym for Asset Limited, Income

Constrained, Employed, are households that earn

more than the U.S. poverty level, but less than

the basic cost of living for the state (the ALICE

Threshold). Combined, the number of poverty and

ALICE households (37 percent) equals the total

Idaho population struggling to afford basic needs.

Another year of congressional inaction has further erorded the federal minimum wage

July 24, 2017 | By David Cooper | Economic Snapshot 

"Prior to 1968, the federal minimum wage was raised at roughly the same pace as growth in labor productivity—i.e., the rate at which the average worker can produce income from each hour of work. This makes sense—if the economy as a whole can produce more income per hour of work, it means there’s capacity for wages across the distribution to grow at a similar rate. Had the minimum wage risen at the same pace as productivity after 1968, it would be over $19 per hour today."

Balancing Paychecks and Public Assistance

How higher wages would strengthen what government can do 

February 2,  2016 | By David Cooper
This EPI BRIEFING PAPER #418, page 3, "Roughly 60 percent of all workers in the bottom decile of wage earners (those paid less than $7.42 per hour) receive some form of government-provided assistance, either directly or through a family member.

Similarly, over half (52.6 percent) of workers in the second decile of wage earners (those paid between $7.42 and $9.91 per hour) receive public assistance."

Article about Public Event, titled: Poverty and the Minimum Wage

Open for discussion... Printed in CDA Press 10/10/2017

Keri Stark, United Way of Kootenai County’s director of community impact, gives an Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) report at a League of Women Voters of Kootenai County meeting Monday afternoon in Coeur d’Alene.

Attendees listen to Luke Mayville's speech at a League of Women Voters of Kootenai County meeting Monday afternoon in Coeur d'Alene.


Staff Writer

COEUR d'ALENE — When Antje Cripe searched to find a meeting spot for Monday's League of Women Voters of Kootenai County gathering, she was shocked at the response of one business.

The treasurer of the nonpartisan political organization was told if the meeting was going to become politically contentious, the group may not be able to meet there.

"I was asked to be more specific (on what the meeting topics were), but we needed something bigger than what they have anyway," Cripe said during the meeting at McEuen Park. "I was stunned that it has come to this state of affairs."

One of the league's missions is "making democracy work," so Richard Kohles, a Democrat who has run for the state Legislature, encouraged the estimated 25 other attendees to support the group.

"Getting people to vote is the first thing that has to happen," Kohles said. "The cards are stacked against us about getting anything done if we don't have the (League) and dialogue. We had none of that in the last election."

Political frustrations also came to the forefront during the meeting when a man and woman interrupted speaker Luke Mayville, who advocated for raising the state's minimum wage of $7.25 per hour on behalf of the grassroots Reclaim Idaho group seeking candidate balance in the Legislature.

The two said there has been talk but no action about making changes to improve Idaho economic conditions before they walked away from the meeting in disgust.

But Mayville said if people stay focused on "bread and butter concerns of ordinary citizens" such as quality health care and education, support will rise so they won't feel like an "endangered species."

Mayville also spoke against the preemption law Idaho passed last year that prevents local governments from setting the minimum wage.

"The Legislature decided it doesn't care about local control after all, doubled down on centralized power and blocked communities from raising the minimum wage," Mayville said, adding that around 40 local jurisdictions nationwide have raised their minimum wage.

But Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d'Alene, who sponsored the bill and was contacted after the meeting, said this was one of those cases in which local control is not better.

"Local control is good in some stances, but instances when there are strong economic impacts, to where laws negatively impact business, it's not always the best approach," Malek said. "(The law) is not a knock on local control. We want businesses to have a consistent playing field no matter which community they're in."

Malek said the law clarifies what he believes was already on the books.

"We just wanted to make it more clear so there's no litigation about it," he said.

Lisa Schaff, the League's vice president, said the organization has not taken a position on minimum wage.

Poverty was also at the forefront of the meeting as Keri Stark, United Way of Kootenai County's director of community impact, presented the Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) report.

ALICE households bring in more than the federal poverty level of $11,670 for a single adult and $23,850 for a family of four, but still struggle to meet basic needs.

According to the report, 12 percent of the households in Kootenai County in 2014 were considered poverty and another 25 percent were in the ALICE category. The 37 percent walking a financial tightrope equates to about 20,000 households.

Statewide, 14 percent of households were considered poverty and 25 percent ALICE that year.

"We can point to low wages as being the cause (of poverty and ALICE), but it's certainly not the only cause," Stark said. "It's impossible to point to one single thing."

Stark said early education and access to affordable housing, living-wage jobs, transportation and health care are needed to combat poverty.

Coeur d'Alene's Jan Studer, a retired teacher who attended the meeting, said early education needs to be a focus in Idaho.

"It's an investment that pays back," she said. "The cost of childcare is prohibitive for so many young families."

Attendee Chris Matthews, of Post Falls, said his family has felt the effects. He said both he and his wife have full-time jobs and his wife also operates a personal side business and they still struggle. To compound the situation, the family's childcare center was shut down by violations.

"It's scary for us as young families," he said. "I hope we can find solutions in the future to support our children. What's more important than the next generation?" 

Recent Letter to the Editor of CDA Press

August 3, 2017

The Coeur d'Alene Press

215 North Second Street

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

In Response to July 14, 2017 CDA Press - MINIMUM WAGE DEBATERS, CHECK THIS OUT

Letter to the editor:

The subject does not reference the source precisely. And it doesn't give credence to the fact that many employers schedule less than 30-hours per week to avoid paying benefits. If employers must do more with less and therefor offer less paid hours due to required profitability that makes sense. But don't pull in an employee and pay below the cost of living. Pay a fair wage for any and all hours worked. That's better than taking advantage of another’s time investment for your own potential gain. If the business model is not profitable then call it a hobby and ask friends to join your cooperative.

I’d like to inform the public of sub minimum wage. You may know that in Idaho the minimum wage is $7.25. But, what you might not know is in Idaho, employees who earn tips are consistently paid $3.35 an hour before taxes. It doesn't end there. There are few protections for labor in the state of Idaho. Imagine if you prepare yourself for work: purchase and press the uniform, prepare yourself to look your best, pay for childcare, drive a distance to work, arrive on time, and then be told that due to a regular, intentional practice of overstaffing, your shift is canceled or reduced. That's the regular uncertainty of employees in Idaho. Furthermore, Idaho’s wage law allows for zero breaks paid or unpaid; no daily overtime; and no minimum shift when scheduled. Typically, there are no useful benefits available; no medical, no dental, no vision, no retirement plan, etc. So, when the short shift or no shift occurs, the employee is carrying the responsibility to prepare for business operations. Low income, likely below poverty level staffs are subsidizing the corporation. Would it be so hard for employers to guarantee scheduled hours of a four hour minimum? Would it be so hard to pay tipped employees the standard minimum wage instead of the sub minimum wage?

National corporations come to Idaho and directly benefit by the sub minimum wage. I think you will find, menu prices in Idaho and Washington are the same at your favorite corporate restaurant chain while tipped employees in Washington are paid $11 per hour.

Does it make sense that public taxes converted to public assistance are paying for necessities instead of payroll? It is a fact that tipping is optional. It seems payroll is optional for those employers who choose to pay $3.35 an hour. Have you ever asked why does this waitress or service person not deserve to support him or herself? Can't we do better? Can working people enjoy a dignified life? The labor participation rate will be more compelling in a fair wage environment. Would you ask politicians to stand up for working people? Would you ask corporations to pay a livable, fair wage? Think about it… If you're under paid or not paid at all, would you show up for work day after day? I believe in payroll above public assistance.

Sincerely, Lisa Schaff

Noam Chomsky (2017) 

"The Future of Humanity" [Full Interview]

Published on Jul 10, 2017

April 6, 2017; Starts at 4:42

Opinions from our Kootenai County Residents

Feel free to submit via the survey above to share your opinion.

Our Latest Blog Entry

August 18, 2017, Christopher Matthews of Post Falls, Idaho

Working families are struggling. Without an increase in our minimum wage, people will continue to be a part of the working poor. "The report analyzed states in the Pacific Northwest. It considered both ALICE households and those at or below the federal poverty line. Combined, those account for 37 percent of all households in Idaho."(1)

With the minimum wage at $7.25 (2), families are forced to work multiple jobs just to keep up on expenses, giving them less time with the families they are desperately trying to support.

If you work hard for 40 hours a week, you should be able to support your family, our current minimum wage does not allow Idahoans to do this, "a family of four’s average expenses for housing, child care, food and other basic needs in Idaho: $46,176" So even with both parents working, at the current minimum wage, they can only bring in $30,160 annually, which isn't enough to support your family.

There is an economic advantage as well. The more income people are able to earn, the more they are able to spend in their communities, helping to drive up business and add towards a booming economy, "A $15 minimum wage by 2024 would generate $144 billion in higher wages for workers and would also benefit their communities. Because lower-paid workers spend much of their extra earnings, this injection of wages will help stimulate the economy and spur greater business activity and job growth"(3)

The increase in minimum wage to $15/hour would help strengthen our economy and help strengthen working families. We should do everything we can strengthen and support a large Middle Class here in Idaho and increasing the minimum wage is a good first start.

1. “Working Poor: 1 in 3 Idaho Households Struggles to Pay for the Basics.” Idahostatesman, Idaho Statesman, 21 Feb. 2016, www.idahostatesman.com/news/local/article61713627.html.

2. “Idaho Minimum Wage for 2016, 2017.” Federal and State Minimum Wage Rates for 2017, www.minimum-wage.org/idaho.

3. “Why America Needs a $15 Minimum Wage.” Economic Policy Institute, Economic Policy Institute, 26 Apr. 2017, www.epi.org/publication/why-america-needs-a-15-minimum-wage/.