Nebraska Labor Laws 2024 | Wage and Hour Laws in Nebraska


Minimum Wage

In Nebraska, the current minimum wage is $9.00, but these laws don’t apply to employers with less than four employees. They must follow federal minimum wage guidelines, ensuring employees are paid at least $7.25.

For tipped employees, the minimum wage is $2.13. However, employers are responsible for ensuring tipped employees earn the standard minimum wage when tips are included. When employees make less than the standard minimum wage, employers must pay the difference.

Visit our Nebraska minimum wage information page to learn more about minimum wage in Nebraska.

Related topic covered on other pages include:


Overtime

Nebraska labor laws do not have Nebraska overtime laws.

Federal laws under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) state that employees are eligible for overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week unless otherwise exempt. Standard overtime pay for employees is one and one-half times (1.5 times) the regular rates of pay. See FLSA: Overtime for more information regarding overtime requirements.


Prevailing Wages

Under certain circumstances, Nebraska law may require employers to pay residents wage rates established by the federal or state prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the state’s standard minimum wage rates.

Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on federal or state government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain federal or state government services. See the NE Statute 73-104, Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.


Meals and Breaks

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. NE Statute 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.


Nursing Mother Breaks

Nebraska labor laws require employers to provide reasonable accommodations, unless they cause a demonstrated undue hardship, to employees who are nursing mothers which includes taking break time to breastfeed or express breast milk. The reasonable accommodation includes providing employees who are nursing mothers with appropriate facilities for breastfeeding or expressing breast milk.

The following factors are considered when determining whether reasonable accommodations cause undue hardships:

  • The nature and the cost of the accommodation needed;
  • The overall financial resources of the employer’s facility or facilities involved in the provision of the reasonable accommodation;
  • The number of persons employed at the facility or facilities;
  • The effect on expenses and resources of the facility or facilities;
  • other issues that may impact the operation of the facility or facilities;
  • The overall financial resources of the employer;
  • The overall size of the employer’s business with respect to the number of its employees, and the number;
  • The type of the employers’ business;
  • The locations of its employer’s facility or facilities; and
  • The type of operation or operations of the covered entity, including
    • the composition of the employer’s workforce,
    • structure of the employer’s workforce,
    • functions of the work force of the employer, and
    • the geographic separateness and administrative or fiscal relationship of the facility or facilities in question to the employer.

NE Statute 48-1102


Vacation Leave

Under state laws, Nebraska employers aren’t required to provide their employees with paid or unpaid vacation leave. If employers have a private policy, they must abide by the guidelines in said policy. Additionally, employers can require employees to meet requirements before receiving vacation leave benefits.

Once employees receive vacation leave, employers cannot deny payment upon employment termination. Employers must outline these terms in employment contracts before employees begin working.

Like other states, Nebraska employers can also place a cap on the accrued vacation employees may earn. However, they cannot have a “use-it-or-lose-it” vacation policy. Once an employee accrues vacation leave, they do not have to use it by a specific date.
Visit our Nebraska vacation leave information page to learn more about vacation leave in Nebraska.


Sick Leave

Employers in Nebraska aren’t required to provide employees with paid or unpaid sick leave benefits. If employers decide to implement a policy, they must follow the agreement’s terms. Employers don’t need to pay employees for their accrued sick leave upon employment termination.

In some instances, employers may be required to grant sick leave. Sick leave could be required if the Family and Medical Leave Act covers an employee.Visit our Nebraska sick leave information page to learn more about sick leave in Nebraska.


Holiday Leave

Private employers aren’t required to give Nebraska employees unpaid or paid holiday leave. Employers can also require their employees to work on holidays without premium pay, such as 1.5x their regular rate.

If employees’ time at work exceeds their normal hours, they could be covered by overtime laws, requiring premium wage payments.Visit our Nebraska holiday leave information page to learn more about holiday leave in Nebraska.


Jury Duty Leave

When attending jury duty, employers must provide employees with pay while serving on the jury. However, employers can reduce the pay rate from an employee’s regular wage to what is provided by the court for jury duty.

Also, employers cannot terminate employees or revoke benefits due to absences from jury duty. It is important to note that it is the employees’ responsibility to provide advance notice about their summons.

With reasonable notice, employees cannot be threatened or coerced by their employers about missing work.Visit our Nebraska jury duty information page to learn more about jury duty in Nebraska.


Voting Leave

In Nebraska, employees are granted time off work unless they have two hours to vote before or after their shift. If the polls are closed before or after their shift, employers must grant two paid hours of leave for voting.

Moreover, employers can’t deduct pay if employees provide advance notice of voting so that employers can manage their schedules.Visit our Nebraska voting leave information page to learn more about voting leave in Nebraska.


Severance Pay

Nebraska labor laws does not require employers to provide employees with severance pay. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.


Unemployment

Employees in Nebraska can apply for unemployment benefits while searching for another job. However, there are requirements applicants must meet before being granted these benefits.

The current unemployment eligibility requirements for Nebraska include:

  • Individuals must be unemployed.
  • Applicants must have worked in Nebraska within the past 12 months.
  • Applicants must have earned a specific amount of wages, as outlined.
  • Applicants must be actively seeking work while collecting weekly benefits.

Visit Nebraska’s unemployment information page to learn more about unemployment in Nebraska.


Other Topics and Resources

There are several other Nebraska labor laws governing the employers and their workplaces. Below are those topics and resources:

  • Nebraska child labor laws for children 17 years of age and younger including topics including work during school hours and summer hours, school days and non-school days, summer days of employment (usually June 1 to Labor Day), hour restrictions, work permits, and hazardous occupations.
  • The Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission enforces the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act (FEPA) and protects employees workplace civil rights and against discrimination and retaliation. Employees are also protected by federal discrimination laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The state and federal discrimination laws offer employees protections and violations based on the following:
Disability (a mental or physical impairment)Sex, including sexual harassmentGender expressionNational Origin
RaceSexual orientationReligionAncestry
CreedGender identityAge (40+)Pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions
ColorGenetic informationMarital status
  • Nebraska labor laws regarding wage payment laws including covering frequency and manner of wage payments, regular paydays, payday, pay periods, deductions, direct deposit and payroll cards, wage statement, record keeping, final paychecks, and notice requirements.
  • Nebraska labor laws regarding minimum wage and overtime exemptions covering non-exempt employees and exempt employees.
  • Nebraska labor law regarding hours worked including rest breaks, meal breaks, on-call, waiting, travel, sleeping, and meeting times.
  • The Nebraska Department of Labor On-site Safety and Health Consultation Program helps employer comply with laws and regulations regarding workplace safety and health. Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) which covers federal workplace safety and health requirements.
  • Active duty employees, including those in the national guard, and veterans may also be eligible for military leave under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
  • The Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court enforced the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Act manages workers’ compensation in Nebraska and worker compensation insurance claims and enforcement. Employees who are injured on the job may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits that minimizes the financial impact on the employee.
  • Under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, employers in Nebraska are required to provide 60-day advanced notice to any employees that may be impacted by a business closing or mass layoff if 50 or more employees will be impacted.
  • If Nebraska employers provide employees health insurance benefits, they must comply with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) that provides health coverage protections to employees under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce, and other life events.
  • Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, employers must provide applicants and employees prior notice before conducting background checks involving credit reports. Other rules and limitation may also apply.

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