Nebraska Minimum Wage Laws




Minimum wage

Nebraska’s current minimum wage is $9.00. Nebraska Minimum Wage Increase, Initiative 425 (2014)

Nebraska minimum wage laws do not apply to employers with fewer than 4 employees. NE Statute 48-1202(2)

Nebraska employers must also comply with federal minimum wage laws, which currently sets the federal minimum wage at $7.25. See FLSA: Minimum Wage.

If an employer chooses to pay employees minimum wage, the employer must pay those employees in accordance with the minimum wage law, either federal or state, that results in the employees being paid the higher wage.



Tip minimum wage

Nebraska’s minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13.

Employers may pay the tipped minimum wage to individuals who are compensated in part by gratuities, such as waitresses, waters, bellhops, and porters. If an employer chooses to pay an employees the tipped minimum wage, they must also ensure the employees are paid the standard minimum wage when tipped wages are combined with tips received. If employees are not pad the standard minimum wage when tipped wages are combined with tips received, the employer must make up the difference. The employer carries the burden to prove an employee is compensated by way of gratuities. NE Statute 48-1203(d)(2).





Tip pooling and sharing

Nebraska minimum wage laws do not address whether an employer may require employees to participate in a tip pooling or tip sharing arrangement. Because most employers and employees in Nebraska are subject to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the standards set forth in that law related to tip/gratuity pooling provide additional guidance.



Subminimum wage

Employees with disabilities

Nebraska law exempts employees with physical or mental disabilities from its minimum wage requirements if the employees receive any form of federal, state, county, or local aid or welfare, whether directly or indirectly and they work in a rehabilitation program. Such employees may be paid a subminimum wage rate at a level appropriate with their health, efficiency, and general well-being. NE Statute 48-1202(3)(i).



Trainees

Nebraska minimum wage laws allow employers to pay trainees a subminimum wage rate that is no less than 75 percent of the federal minimum wage to new hires who are under 20 years of age and who are not seasonal or migrant workers. The employers may pay the rate for 90 days from the date the trainee is hired. The employer may have the training period extended an additional 90 days if the trainee is participating in on-the-job training and:

  • the training requires technical, personal, or other skills necessary for his or her employment; and
  • the training is approved by the Department of Labor.

Hours worked by employees being paid the reduced training wage may make up no more than one-fourth of an employer’s total hours paid to all employee.

Employers may not pay employees the training wage rate if other employees will have their hours reduced or have been laid off and the hours or position of the new employees are considerably similar to the hours or position of the employees who have had their hours reduced or who have been laid off. Employers are also prohibited from terminating or reducing the hours of an employee with the intention of replacing such employee or the hours of such employee with a new employee who is compensated at the training wage rate.

NE Statutes 48-1203.01.



Apprentices

Nebraska minimum wage laws exempt apprentices from its minimum wage requirements. Thus, employers are not required to pay them the standard minimum wage. Nebraska does not set a minimum wage employers may pay apprentices. NE Statute 48-1202(3)(f).



Learners

Nebraska minimum wage laws exempt learners from its minimum wage requirements. Thus, employers are not required to pay them the standard minimum wage. Nebraska does not set a minimum wage employers may pay learners. NE Statute 48-1202(3)(f).



Student learners

Nebraska minimum wage laws allow employers to pay student-learners a subminimum wage rate that is no less than 75 percent of the standard minimum wage if they work as part of a bona-fide vocational training program. NE Statute 48-1203(d)(3).



Student workers

Nebraska minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay student workers a subminimum wage rate that is less than the standard minimum wage.