Nebraska

Labor Compliance Guide

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

The Fair Labor Standards Act defines the workweek as a fixed and recurring period of 168 hours comprised of seven consecutive 24-hour periods that do not need to coincide with the calendar week. It is adjustable only if the change is designed to be permanent. Each week is considered on its own for purposes of calculating overtime. The hours of two or more weeks may not be averaged.

Overtime

Nebraska has no general provision restricting the number of hours non-minor employees may work, but most employees would be subject to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which requires that all nonexempt employees be paid premium pay for all hours worked over 40 in a week.

Breaks

Nebraska does not have rest breaks law that applies generally to private employers. However, certain private employers are covered by the applicable federal law governing rest breaks.

 

Breast Feeding Law

A nursing mother is excused from jury duty until she is no longer breastfeeding and that the nursing mother must file a qualification form supported by a certificate from her physician requesting an exemption. Neb. Rev. Stat. §25-1601-4 (2003) 

Annual Leave

Fringe benefits includes annual leave plans, disability income protection plans, retirement, pension, or profit-sharing plans, health and accident benefit plans, and any other employee benefit plans or benefit programs regardless of whether the employee participates in such plans or programs.

 

Paid leave, other than earned but unused vacation leave, provided as a fringe benefit by the employer shall not be included in the wages due and payable at the time of separation, unless the employer and the employee or the employer and the collective-bargaining representative have specifically agreed otherwise. Unless the employer and employee have specifically agreed otherwise through a contract effective at the commencement of employment or at least ninety days prior to separation, whichever is later, wages includes commissions on all orders delivered and all orders on file with the employer at the time of separation of employment less any orders returned or canceled at the time suit is filed.

 

All earned, unused vacation must be paid to departing employees. (Neb. Rev. Stat. §48-1229(6)

Minimum Wage

Effective January 1, 2018, the state’s hourly minimum wage is $9, unchanged from the minimum wage in effect in 2016.

 

The state’s hourly minimum cash wage for tipped workers is $2.13, based on a maximum tip credit of $6.87 as on January 1, 2018, unchanged since 2016.

 

Employers may pay 75 percent of the minimum wage to student learners employed in vocational training programs. Employers may pay a training wage of 75 percent of the minimum wage for the first 90 days of employment to new employees younger than age 20 who are not seasonal or migrant workers. The training wage is applicable for an additional 90 days if employees are participating in on-the-job training that is required for employment and approved by the Department of Labor.

Tips & Gratuities

Effective January 1, 2016, the state’s hourly minimum cash wage for tipped workers is $2.13, based on a maximum tip credit of $6.87 unchanged as of January 1, 2018. Employers may pay a minimum cash wage of $2.13 an hour to tipped employees if the total cash wages and tips equal or exceed the full minimum wage.

Meal Breaks

Any person, firm, or corporation owning or operating an assembling plant, workshop, or mechanical establishment employing one or more persons shall allow all of their employees not less than 30 consecutive minutes for lunch in each 8 hour shift, and during such time it shall be unlawful for any such employer to require such employee or employees to remain in buildings or on the premises where their labor is performed.

 

This does not apply to employment that is covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement or other written agreement between an employer and employee.

Special Leave

Unpaid Leave
Employees may be eligible to take unpaid, job-protected, leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Please refer to main United States page for further details on this Federal law.
Jury Duty Leave

Any person who is summoned to serve on jury duty shall not be subject to discharge from employment, loss of pay, loss of sick leave, loss of vacation time, or any other form of penalty, as a result of his or her absence from employment due to such jury duty, upon giving reasonable notice to his or her employer of such summons. Any person who is summoned to serve on jury duty shall be excused upon request from any shift work for those days required to serve as a juror without loss of pay. No employer shall subject an employee to discharge, loss of pay, loss of sick leave, loss of vacation time, or any other form of penalty on account of his or her absence from employment by reason of jury duty, except that an employer may reduce the pay of an employee by an amount equal to any compensation, other than expenses, paid by the court for jury duty.

Voting Leave

Any registered voter who does not have two consecutive hours in the period between the time of the opening and closing of the polls during which he or she is not required to be present at work for an employer shall be entitled on election day to be absent from employment for such a period of time as well in addition to his or her nonworking time total 2 consecutive hours between the time of the opening and closing of the polls. If the registered voter applies for such leave of absence prior to or on election day, the registered voter shall not be liable for any penalty and no deduction shall be made from his or her salary or wages on account of such absence. The employer may specify the hours during which the employee may be absent.

Paid Military Leave

All employees, including elected officials of the State of Nebraska, or any political subdivision thereof, who are members of the National Guard, Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air Force Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve, shall be entitled to a military leave of absence from their respective duties, without loss of pay, when employed with or without pay under the orders or authorization of competent authority in the active service of the state or of the United States. Members who normally work or are normally scheduled to work one hundred fifty-nine hours or more in three consecutive weeks and scheduled to work 24 hours shifts shall receive a military leave of absence of one hundred sixty-eight hours each calendar year.

 

Members who normally work or are normally scheduled to work 120 hours or more but less than 159 hours in 3 consecutive weeks shall receive a military leave of absence of 120 hours each calendar year. Members who normally work or are normally scheduled to work less than 120 hours in 3 consecutive weeks shall receive a military leave of absence each calendar year equal to the number of hours they normally work or would normally be scheduled to work, whichever is greater, in 3 consecutive weeks. Such military leave of absence may be taken in hourly increments and shall be in addition to the regular annual leave of the persons named.

Pregnancy Disability Leave

Reasonable accommodation, with respect to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, shall include acquisition of equipment for sitting, more frequent or longer breaks, periodic rest, assistance with manual labor, job restructuring, light-duty assignments, modified work schedules, temporary transfers to less strenuous or hazardous work, time off to recover from childbirth, or break time and appropriate facilities for breastfeeding or expressing breast milk. Reasonable accommodation shall not include accommodations which the covered entity can demonstrate require significant difficulty or expense thereby posing an undue hardship upon the covered entity.

Family Military Leave
      • Any employer that employs between 15 and 50 employees shall provide up to 15 days of unpaid family military leave to an employee during the time federal or state deployment orders are in effect.
      • An employer that employs more than 50 employees shall provide up to 30 days of unpaid family military leave to an employee during the time federal or state deployment orders are in effect.

The employee shall give at least 14 days’ notice of the intended date upon which the family military leave will commence if leave will consist of five or more consecutive work days. Where able, the employee shall consult with the employer to schedule the leave so as to not unduly disrupt the operations of the employer. Employees taking family military leave for less than five consecutive days shall give the employer advance notice as is practicable.

 

Any employee who exercises the right to family military leave under the Family Military Leave Act, upon expiration of the leave, shall be entitled to be restored by the employer to the position held by the employee when the leave commenced or to a position with equivalent seniority status, employee benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment. The employer and employee may negotiate for the employer to maintain benefits at the employer’s expense for the duration of the leave.

Emergency Responder Leave

No employer shall terminate or take any other disciplinary action against any employee who is a volunteer emergency responder if such employee, when acting as a volunteer emergency responder, is absent from or reports late to his or her place of employment in order to respond to an emergency prior to the time such employee is to report to his or her place of employment.

Adoptive Parents Leave

Whenever an employer, including a governmental agency, permits an employee to take a leave of absence upon the birth of the employee’s child, an adoptive parent, following the commencement of the parent-child relationship, is entitled to the same leave upon the same terms.

 

The adoptive parent leave of absence is not required if the child being adopted is a special needs child over eighteen years of age, a child who is over eight years of age and is not a special needs child, a stepchild being adopted by his or her stepparent, a foster child being adopted by his or her foster parent, or a child who was originally under a voluntary placement for purposes other than adoption without assistance from an attorney, physician, or other individual or agency which later results in a petition for the adoption of the child by the person with whom the voluntary placement was made.

Bone Marrow Donor Leave

An employer shall be encouraged to grant paid leaves of absence to an employee who seeks to undergo a medical procedure to donate bone marrow.

Last updated on: September 20th, 2018