Wage and hour laws serve as guidelines for employers that dictate how many hours employees can work within a given time and how and how much they will be paid for hours worked. It is critical that New Hampshire’s employers become fluent in these laws to ensure they stay on the right side of them.
Minimum Wage in New Hampshire
New Hampshire employers must adhere to the same minimum wage in place at the federal level, which is $7.25 per hour. This applies to most employees, however there are some exceptions. For example, farm laborers, newspaper carriers, golf caddies and members of a non-professional ski patrol are among those exempt from New Hampshire’s minimum wage laws.
Minimum Wage of Tipped Workers: New Hampshire employees who typically receive at least $30 per month in tips, such as those who work in restaurants or similar hospitality settings, must receive a base pay from their employers. This base pay cannot fall below 45 percent of the minimum wage of $7.25.
Does Minimum Wage Apply to Me: New Hampshire’s minimum wage laws apply to most of the state’s employers. However, some employees are exempt from these laws, such as farm laborers, newspaper carriers, golf caddies and members of a non-professional ski patrol. A full list of exempt employees is available via the New Hampshire Department of Labor.
When Are Raises Required: Employers in New Hampshire are not required to grant raises to their employees. Generally, the decision of whether to offer or grant a raise is made on a case-by-case basis.
Work Hours in New Hampshire
While there are not laws governing how many hours or how many days per week adult employees can work, some teenagers face stricter requirements. Those under 16 may work a maximum of eight hours per day on non-school days and 48-hour weeks during vacation. If in school, they may work three hours per day and a maximum of 23 hours per week during vacation. Those who are 16 and 17 may work 48-hour, six-day workweeks during school vacation, and 30-hour, six-day workweeks during regular school weeks.
Paying Overtime: In the state of New Hampshire and federally, employees who work more than 40 hours in a seven-day week must receive time-and-a-half pay for any hours worked after the initial 40 hours. There are, however, some exceptions to New Hampshire’s overtime laws. Employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act and those who employ workers seasonally for fewer than six months a year are also exempt.
Guaranteed Breaks and Meals: New Hampshire employees who work more than five hours at a time must be granted a 30-minute lunch period. In the event that the employer cannot grant the 30-minutes, the employer must pay the employee for time spent both eating and working. New Hampshire’s breastfeeding mothers must, under state law, be given a clean, safe place (not a bathroom) to breastfeed and granted a reasonable time period in which to do so.
Paid Time-off and Sick Pay: New Hampshire’s employers are not required by law to give their employees sick pay, vacation pay or paid time off. These issues are typically subject to agreement between both parties. However, if vacation time or sick pay is promised by an employer, they may be legally bound to adhere to it.
Notice Period for Employee Termination: The state of New Hampshire does not have pre-set guidelines in terms of when notice of termination must be provided. Essentially, New Hampshire’s employers may terminate employment at any time and for any reason.
Plant Closings & Layoffs: New Hampshire follows what’s called a “mini WARN” law that is modeled after the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN). Under it, New Hampshire employers with more than 100 full-time workers (or 100 employees who together work a minimum of 3,000 hours per week) are required to give employees at least 60 days’ written notice about plant closings or layoffs.
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