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The costs of violating labor laws

In Idaho, companies must prioritize their adherence to the federal and state regulations that provide safe and fair working conditions for all employees. If a business violates labor laws, the consequences can involve severe penalties and other repercussions.

Fines and loss of licenses

Depending on the violation’s type and severity, employers could receive fines from state and federal agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Violations often involve issues about health and safety, overtime, minimum wage, discrimination, workers’ compensation and child labor laws. After an investigation, companies may receive additional consequences, such as suspending or revoking licenses and permits to operate their business. Losing permits or licenses can cause some companies, such as food service or healthcare businesses, to cease operations.


Labor law violations can result in employees filing legal claims against their employers. Litigation can become costly and time-consuming for companies, requiring them to pay damages, settlements and legal fees. Complaints may trigger time-consuming audits from agencies such as the IRS or OSHA even if the company is not involved in a lawsuit.

Damage to business reputation

When a company violates labor laws, disgruntled employees may tell their family, friends, other employees and contacts at other companies. They might also share the information with customers and lose trust in the company and their supervisor. The company may suffer a damaged reputation internally and externally, with clients and customers taking a negative view of the company’s actions.

Government investigation

When an employer is suspected of employment law violations, they could be subject to government investigations. This process can become disruptive as the employer must cooperate with investigators and may need to provide substantial amounts of historical documentation.

It is crucial for employers to take labor laws seriously and keep in compliance with all relevant state and federal regulations.