Nebraska Wage and Employment
Dolley Law has extensive knowledge and experience in wage and hour law. We have represented clients across the country, including in Nebraska, in connection with these matters. Contact us if you are seeking legal representation in connection with a wage and hour matter.
Nebraska Minimum Wage Law
Nebraska has set a higher minimum wage rate than the federal minimum wage rate. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-1203. As of January 1, 2016, Nebraska’s minimum wage is $9 per hour, higher than the $7.25 per hour federal standard set by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). 29 U.S.C. § 206. Nebraska’s minimum wage rate applies to employers who have more than four full-time employees at any given time. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-1202(2).
Tipped employees can be paid $2.13 per hour, so long as the employee still makes a regular rate that is above $9 per hour when all tips are counted toward weekly compensation. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-1203(2). This (i.e., $2.13 per hour) is the same rate set forth in the FLSA. 29 C.F.R. § 516.28 (2019).
Like the FLSA, Nebraska allows for subminimum wages for student-learners as part of vocational training. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-1203(3). Student-learners must be paid at a minimum of 75% of the state minimum wage. Id. This is similar to the FLSA where student-learners can also make 75% of the minimum wage. 29 U.S.C. § 214.
Both the FLSA and Nebraska have “training wages” for young employees when they first start their jobs. 29 U.S.C. 206(g); Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-1203.01. In Nebraska, employees younger than 20 can be paid at 75% of the state minimum wage for the first 90 days, and the FLSA requires the same group of employees to be paid $4.25 per hour. Id.
Nebraska has not enacted legislation regarding overtime pay requirements, so employers in Nebraska should follow the FLSA. 29 U.S.C. § 207. Under the FLSA, non-exempt employees must be paid 1.5 times their base hourly rate for every hour worked over 40 in a given workweek. Id.
Under Nebraska law, there no meal or rest breaks required except for employees working in assembling plants, workshops, and mechanical establishments where a 30-minute meal break is required for each 8-hour shift. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-212.
Potential Liability for Wage and Hour Violations
Nebraska employers violating state wage and hour laws can be held liable for unpaid wages and attorney’s fees. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-1206(5). This varies slightly from liability under the FLSA, wherein employers may also pay liquidated damages for wage and hour violations. 29 U.S.C. § 216.
The employer can also be held criminally liable for a Class IV misdemeanor if they do not pay the mandated minimum wage. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-1206(2). This could mean additional fines of up to $500 dollars for every infraction. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-106.
Unpaid wages due to overtime violations will carry the same liabilities as the FLSA because Nebraska does not have additional overtime laws. These liabilities include liquidated damages, unpaid wages, and reasonable attorney’s fees. 29 U.S.C. § 216.
These liabilities can be avoided with proactive effort and careful compliance with state and federal wage and hour laws, which is why it is important for both employers and employees to fully understand their legal rights and obligations.
Nebraska has additional protections for employees for timely payment of wages. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-1230. Wages are due to employees on regular days as agreed upon by the employer and employee. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-1230(1). An employee may bring a claim for unpaid wages 30 days after wages were due, in order to recover the full amount of unpaid wages and any attorney’s fees totaling no less than 25% of the unpaid wages. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-1231. There are additional infractions for untimely wage payments that have associated fines. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-1231(2). The employer could be liable for a fine of up to $100 for the first infraction, then a fine between $100-$300 for the second infraction in two years, and finally a fine between $200-$500 for the third infraction in two years. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-436.
Our Firm represents clients in FLSA and wage and hour cases in courts throughout the United States. We know how to navigate complex wage and hour disputes and how to advise clients regarding FLSA compliance. If you are in or around Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy, Hall, or Buffalo counties, please do not hesitate to contact our attorneys at 314-645-4100 or by email at email@example.com to speak about potential legal representation.