New Hampshire Minimum Wage, Overtime, Hours and Leave Laws

Minimum Wage

Currently, the minimum wage in New Hampshire is $7.25/hour. The state has set its minimum wage at the same rate as the federal minimum wage.

Like other states, New Hampshire must comply with federal minimum wage laws, which set the minimum wage at $7.25/hour. Also, when paying employees, employers must offer pay per federal minimum wage laws.

To ensure employees are paid legally and fairly, they are required to pay either state or federal wages, whichever are higher. In this instance, both wages are the same. New Hampshire employees have a minimum wage for tipped professionals of $3.27/hour. Employers must pay employees no less than 45% of the state’s minimum wage.

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

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New Hampshire labor laws require an employer to pay overtime to employees, unless otherwise exempt, at the rate of 1½ times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. NH Dept. of Labor – FAQs. See FLSA: Overtime for more information regarding overtime requirements.

Prevailing Wages

New Hampshire does not have a prevailing wage law that governs wage rates on government project or service contracts.

Under certain circumstances, employers in New Hampshire may be required to pay residents wage rates established by federal prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the federal and state’s standard minimum wage rates. Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain government services. See the 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

Under New Hampshire labor laws, employers cannot require that an employee work more than five (5) consecutive hours without granting a thirty (30) minute lunch or eating period. If the employer cannot allow thirty (30) minutes, the employee must be paid if they are eating and working at the same time. 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. NH Statute 275:30-A.

Nursing Mother Breaks

New Hampshire labor laws do not require employers to provide nursing mothers with breaks to express breast milk. However, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires certain employees to provide nonexempt nursing mothers for one (1) year following a child’s birth with reasonable rest breaks to express milk and private spaces, other than a bathroom, to express breast milk.

Vacation Leave

In New Hampshire, employers are not bound by law to offer unpaid or paid vacation benefits. Also, the courts have not provided considerable guidance on specific vacation policy issues. That said, employers will likely implement vacation policies of their choosing.

Employment contracts still bind employers without legal guidance regarding vacation leave. The company must abide by the terms set out in your specific employment benefits as an employee. Also, employers must notify employees of their vacation benefit policies in writing.

Areas of clarification that a review of vacation leave would welcome include:

  • Vacation leave caps
  • Denied payment of accrued vacation
  • Denied accrued vacation upon employment separation
  • The implementation of “use-it-or-lose-it” policies regarding accrued vacation

Visit our New Hampshire vacation information page to learn more about vacation leave in New Hampshire.

Sick Leave

New Hampshire employees are not entitled to sick leave benefits, whether paid or unpaid. Employers who offer sick leave benefits must abide by the terms agreed to in employment contracts and policies. Also, employers must notify employees of sick leave pay policies in writing.

Depending on the situation, employers could be required to offer unpaid sick leave to employees. It must be per the Family and Medical Leave Act in these instances.

Visit our New Hampshire sick leave information page to learn more about sick leave in New Hampshire.

Holiday Leave

Information about New Hampshire holiday leave laws may now be found on our New Hampshire Leave Laws page.

Private employers in New Hampshire are not required to offer employees paid or unpaid holiday leave. They can ask employees to work holidays without mandatorily being paid premium pay (ex. 1.5x an employee’s regular rate).

That said, employers must pay premium rates if employees are working overtime on said holidays. Employers who offer unpaid or paid holiday leave must follow the terms set in their employment contracts. Additionally, holiday pay policies must be provided to employees in writing.

Visit our New Hampshire holiday leave information page to learn more about holiday leave in New Hampshire.

Jury Duty Leave

New Hampshire employers are not required to provide employees with pay if they are asked to serve on a jury. This also applies if employees receive a jury summons or have to attend court for prospective jury services.

Moreover, employers cannot terminate, coerce, or threaten an employee for responding to a summons or serving as a juror.Visit our New Hampshire jury duty leave information page to learn more about jury duty leave in New Hampshire.

Voting Leave

In instances where employees have to vote, employers in New Hampshire are not required to give staff time off. They are also not required to provide paid or unpaid time off for voting.

When employees cannot get time off to vote, they are considered absent by voting standards. Fortunately, employees who cannot vote due to their employment are entitled to absentee voting.

Visit our New Hampshire voting leave information page to learn more about voting leave in New Hampshire.

Severance Pay

New Hampshire labor law do 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. An employer must inform its employees in writing or by posting of its policies regarding severance pay or other fringe benefits. NH Admin. Rules, Lab 803.03


Job seekers in New Hampshire could be eligible to receive unemployment while looking for an alternative placement. Like other states, there are different eligibility requirements those applying for unemployment must meet. These eligibility requirements include:

  • Applicants must be partially or totally unemployed.
  • When approved, you must register for work unless you’ve received an exemption.
  • Applicants must be available for full-time work during all shifts.
  • Applicants must be mentally and physically capable of working.
  • To receive benefits, you must file your unemployment claim on time.
  • If selected by NH Employment Security, applicants must participate in re-employment services.
  • Applicants must disclose child support payment information or overpaid food stamps.
  • When filing claims, you must report any work referrals or refusals for work.

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

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