Hours & Pay Regulations
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.
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.
Employers in Nebraska are required to pay their employees who work more than 40 hours in any given workweek 1.5 times their regular hourly rate.
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)
Nebraska law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave.
In Nebraska, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays. A private employer does not have to pay an employee premium pay, such as 1½ times the regular rate, for working on holidays, unless such time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws. If an employer chooses to provide either paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.
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)
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.
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.
Nebraska labor laws require employers to provide employees in assembling plants, mechanical establishments, and workshops a 30-minute lunch period in each shift of at least eight (8) hours. Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-212 to 48-213.
For all other businesses, such lunch periods or any other type of break are given solely at the discretion of the employer regardless of the length of the work shift. However, in accordance with federal law, if an employer chooses to provide additional breaks, they must be paid if they are of the type usually lasting less than twenty (20) minutes. Meal or lunch periods (usually thirty (30) minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period.
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.
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.
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 that the covered entity can demonstrate require significant difficulty or expense thereby posing an undue hardship upon the covered entity.
- 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.
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.
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 is 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.
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: May 8th, 2020