Nebraska Labor Laws

March 15th 2024

This article covers:

What are Nebraska Time Management Laws?

In the US, there are federal laws in place to manage the time spent by employees in the workplace, safeguarding their rights and guaranteeing fair pay for their efforts. These laws act as directives for employers, keeping them in check, and minimizing any forms of abuse or exploitation.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which dates back to 1938, is a critical federal law for time management, setting hourly wage rates and overtime pay, and requiring employers to keep an accurate record of their employees’ working hours. Overtime is pegged at 1.5 times the regular hourly rate for workers who exceed 40 hours a week. However, certain job categories, including executives, professionals, and administrative employees, are exempt from overtime pay depending on their job description and salary.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is another essential federal law that governs time management in the workplace, entitling eligible employees to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons, such as the birth or adoption of a child or caring for a family member with a serious health condition. This act also requires employers to maintain employees’ health benefits during their leave and restore them to their previous or equivalent positions upon their return to work.

Employers who contravene federal time management laws face severe legal ramifications, including fines, back pay, and damages. If workers feel that their employer has violated federal time management laws, they can file complaints with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division for investigation and legal action.

Overall, federal time management laws are instrumental in ensuring that workers are compensated fairly for their time and effort in the workplace, protecting them from abuse and exploitation by employers. The Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act are vital federal laws that govern time management and worker compensation, ensuring fair labor practices across various sectors, including non-profit, public, and private organizations.

Nebraska Minimum Wage $12.00 per hour
Nebraska Overtime Laws 1.5 times the rate of regular pay after working 40 hours in a workweek
($18.00 per hour for minimum wage workers)
Nebraska Break Laws Meal and rest breaks not required by law

What are the Hiring, Working & Termination Laws in Nebraska?

According to the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act, employers cannot discriminate against job applicants during the hiring process due to their:

  • Race or color
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • National origin or ancestry
  • Disability
  • Marital status
  • Age

Nebraska is among 28 states in the US that have established “Right-to-Work” laws, which are designed to reduce the power of union organizations. These laws prevent employers from requiring job applicants to join a union as a condition of employment.

In Nebraska, eligible veterans, service members, and their spouses are given hiring preference in both private and public sector jobs. In the private sector, veterans with passing scores get an added 5% to their score, while disabled veterans get an extra 5%. Employers are also allowed to register with the Voluntary Veterans Preference Registry and use their own policies in the hiring process.

Nebraska is one of the many US states that employ the “at-will” employment doctrine, which allows either the employer or the employee to terminate the employment for any reason, at any time. However, termination due to discrimination based on the previously listed requirements of the Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) is not permissible. It is considered wrongful termination to fire an individual based on their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, disability, or marital status.

Employees who leave or are terminated from their job are entitled to all earned wages, which must be paid either on the next regularly scheduled payday or within two weeks of their termination, whichever comes first.

What Are the Key Labor Laws in Nebraska?

Now, we will discuss some key labor laws in Nebraska that may not be related to the categories we have previously explored. Some of these regulations include:

  • COBRA Laws – After their employment ends, workers have the option to utilize the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)t o maintain their health insurance for a maximum of 36 months. COBRA is a federal law that applies to employers with 20 or more employees. However, Nebraska has established Mini – COBRA regulations that apply to smaller companies. To be eligible for a health premium at 102% of the original cost, employees must submit a request to local authorities within 90 days of termination.
  • OSHA Laws – The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) oversees the well-being of workers in Nebraska. It is responsible for investigating any claims of hazardous work environments and performing safety checks at workplaces.
  • Whistleblower Protection Laws – Nebraska has passed a State Government Effectiveness Act to protect state employees who speak out against any misbehavior or inefficiencies they witness within government agencies. The act covers cases like any violation of federal or state laws, misuse or wastage of funds, and situations that could put the safety or health of the public in danger. Nebraska’s Ombudsman Office should be approached to report such cases, and it will look into the report while also offering support and protection from threats or retaliation to any employee filing these claims.
  • Background Check Laws – In Nebraska, public sector employers can’t inquire about any information concerning an employee or job applicant’s criminal record or background. On the other hand, private employers who opt to carry out background checks have to adhere to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Certain professionals, such as child care providers, child center volunteers, and residential adult care facility personnel are mandated to undergo background checks.
  • Employer Use Of Social Media Regulations – Nebraska’s Workplace Privacy Act states that employers cannot ask employees or job applicants for login information to their personal online accounts. Additionally, they cannot force them to log in while the employer is present or add new contacts to their account. If an employee refuses to comply with any of these requests, they cannot be punished or terminated by their employer.
  • Drug And Alcohol Testing Laws – It’s not mandatory for employers in Nebraska to screen their workers for drug and alcohol use. But if they opt to do so, the outcomes must remain private unless legal obligations or the employee’s consent demands otherwise.
  • Employee Classification Act – In Nebraska, there’s a legal measure in place known as the Employee Classification Act that aims to safeguard delivery service and construction workers from being classified as subcontractors. This law offers protection to these workers against unjust tax withholding, unemployment insurance, and employee compensation insurance practices.
  • Recordkeeping Laws – Nebraska employers must maintain employment records of their workers for a minimum of four years. These records are:
    • Employee name
    • Social security number
    • Place of residence
    • Type of service the employee provides
    • Date of hire
    • Amount of wages paid to the employee
    • Start and end dates of pay periods
    • The total amount of compensation due to be paid to employees in each calendar quarter
    • The total amount of compensation paid to employees in each calendar quarter

Nebraska Payment Laws

To start, let’s take a look at the laws that govern how much employees must be paid. We’ll delve into the details of minimum wage standards, including any exceptions that may apply.

What is the Minimum Payment in Nebraska?

 Nebraska’s minimum wage is currently $12.00 per hour, higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. However, this state minimum wage law only applies to employers with 4 or more employees. Employers with fewer than 4 employees are subject to federal regulations.

Under federal law, employees who earn more than $30 per month in tips are considered tipped employees and can be paid a lower tipped minimum wage of $2.13. If the employee’s tips and wages do not meet the federal minimum wage, the employer is required to cover the difference.

If a wage is less than the minimum wage, it’s considered a subminimum wage. In Nebraska, student learners can get paid 75% of the state or federal minimum wage (whichever applies). Also, employees with mental or physical disabilities can get paid a special subminimum wage, in proportion to their reduced output. However, only employers certified by the State as “sheltered workshops” can pay a reduced wage and there’s a bill being introduced to cut the subminimum wage for employees with disabilities, which is expected to pass soon. In Nebraska, employers can also pay a training wage of $4.25 per hour for employees under 20 for the first 90 days of employment, and extend it for another 90 days with approval from the Commissioner of Labor, if the training is needed to do the job correctly.

What are the Exceptions for Minimum Payment in Nebraska?

Typically, in Nebraska, companies with less than four employees don’t have to adhere to minimum wage regulations. Other exceptions include:

  • Agriculture workers
  • Private home babysitters
  • Executives, administrative staff
  • Supervisors
  • Superintendents
  • Apprentices
  • Children employed by their parents

What is the Payment Due Date in Nebraska?

Employers in Nebraska have an obligation to pay their workers the wages they are owed on their usual payday. In the event that the payment schedule changes, the employer must notify the employee 30 days prior to the adjustment.

What are Nebraska Overtime Laws?

In Nebraska, the regulations are set by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to manage overtime requirements. This act states that any work done beyond the regular 40 hours per workweek is classified as overtime and should be compensated at a rate of 1.5 times the usual pay. This rate stands at $18.00 for every hour worked as overtime in Nebraska.

What are Overtime Exceptions and Exemptions in Nebraska?

There are certain occupations that don’t have to follow overtime regulations, like administrative, professional, and executive positions. However, these employees must be paid a salary of at least $684 per week to qualify. In Nebraska, this law matches federal standards, although computer employees and outside salespersons don’t fall under the exemption.

Learn more in detail about Nebraska Salaried Employees Laws and Nebraska Overtime Laws.

What are Nebraska Time Off/Break Laws?

In Nebraska, employers are not obligated by federal or state regulations to provide employees with breaks. However, if an employer has a policy in place for breaks, federal regulations are in effect. Rest breaks of up to 20 minutes are considered ‌work hours and must be paid at regular rates. On the other hand, meal periods must be at least 30 minutes long, unpaid, and should grant employees freedom from all duties.

What are the Exceptions to Break Law in Nebraska?

Employers in Nebraska who operate assembling plants, workshops, or mechanical establishments with one or more employees are exempted from the state’s break laws. However, they are required to provide their workers with a minimum 30-minute meal break. Interestingly, employees are not mandated to remain on their employer’s premises during this designated break period.

What are Nebraska Breastfeeding Laws?

If you’re an employer in Nebraska with more than 15 employees, it’s important to know that under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), you’re required to provide nursing mothers with a reasonable amount of time and suitable facilities to express breast milk. These facilities should be private and clean, not including toilet stalls. Mothers are eligible for breastfeeding breaks for up to one year after giving birth. On top of federal law, Nebraska’s Fair Employment Practice Act also requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for breastfeeding employees. However, this state law doesn’t specify what kind of facilities an employer must offer or how long mothers can use breastfeeding breaks after having a child.

What are Nebraska Leave Laws?

Nebraska provides two types of leaves – required and non-required leaves.

What is Nebraska Required Leave?

The following are the required leave types that Nebraska employers must provide to their employees:

  • Family and Medical Leave – Nebraska employees may be eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. Qualifying life events include giving birth, caring for a newborn, adopting or fostering a child, having an incapacitating health condition, or caring for a family member with a serious health condition. To be eligible, the employee must have worked for the same employer for at least 12 months and completed at least 1,250 hours within that timeframe.
  • Sick Leave (Public Employees) – State employees have the privilege of receiving 8 hours of paid sick leave per calendar month of service.
  • Bereavement Leave (Public Employees) Regarding bereavement leave, state employees can have up to 5 days off if the deceased was an immediate family member. However, if the deceased was not an immediate family member, the employee’s supervisor can permit 1 day of bereavement leave.
  • Jury Duty Leave – Nebraska workers who get called up for jury duty should have the freedom to fulfill their civic duty without disruption from their employer. The law prohibits employers from taking retaliatory actions such as firing or demoting an employee who chooses to serve on a jury.
  • Voting Time Leave – If you’re working in Nebraska and don’t have a straight two-hour window to vote during your shift, you can request a paid voting leave. Just make sure you ask for it at least two days ahead of time. The leave will give you at least two hours to go vote before or after the polls close.
  • Holiday Leave (Public Employees) – As per the law, all full-time state workers are entitled to receive paid time off on all the officially declared public holidays.
  • Bereavement Leave – If a state employee’s immediate family member has passed away, they are entitled to up to 5 days of bereavement leave. However, if the deceased was not an immediate family member, the supervisor of the employee may grant 1 day of bereavement leave.
  • Military Leave – If you’re a state employee who is also a member of the military and you’re called up for active duty, you have the right to take military leave. The first 120 hours of this leave are paid within any given calendar year, but if you take more time off for this purpose, it may be unpaid. In accordance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), service members who return to their previous job within 5 years must be reinstated to a similar position and cannot suffer a loss of any seniority advancements they may have earned prior to their deployment.
  • Military Family Leave – Under Nebraska law, employers with a minimum of 15 workers must grant leave to an employee who is the spouse or parent of a military service member called into active duty. The period of active duty should go on for at least 179 days. Eligibility for the leave requires the employee to have worked for the same company for at least 12 months and for at least 1,250 hours within the preceding year. Employers with 15-49 workers are required to provide a maximum of 15 paid days off, while those with 50 or more employees must provide up to 30 days of paid leave.

What is Nebraska Non-Required Leave?

The non-required leave types are:

  • Sick Leave (Private Employees) – Employers are not required to offer sick leave to their staff in the private sector.
  • Bereavement Leave In Nebraska, employers who are not public entities are not required to offer bereavement leave to their employees.
  • Emergency Response Leave – If you work for a private employer and volunteer to respond to an emergency, you may not be entitled to emergency response leave. On the other hand, if you’re a registered volunteer for a government-approved agency, state law forbids dismissals as a result of responding to an emergency. But keep in mind that there’s no obligation for the employer to compensate you for missed hours.
  • Vacation And Holiday Leave (Private Employees) – As per the regulations in Nebraska, employers in the private sector are not obliged to offer vacation or holiday leave to their employees.

The following are the official federal holidays observed in the US:

State Official Holidays Date
New Year’s Day 1 January
Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Day Third Monday in January
Washington’s Birthday Third Monday in February
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day 4 July
Labor Day First Monday in September
Columbus Day Second Monday in October
Election Day Every other year
Veterans Day 11 November
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day 25 December

What are Nebraska Child Labor Laws?

In Nebraska, regulations regarding minors’ working hours and restricted occupations are established by both state and federal child labor laws.

What are the Laws on Working Hours for Minors in Nebraska?

There are different legal working hours for two groups of minors: those who are under 16, and those who are 16 or 17 years old.

Minors who are under 16 years old are allowed to work between 7 am and 7 pm while school is in session. For days when there is no school, this time is extended to 9 p.m. Additionally, they are permitted to work for a maximum of 3 hours on a school day and no more than 18 hours on a school week. While school is out of session, a minor under 16 years old can work no more than 8 hours ‌a day and 40 hours a week.

If a minor wishes to work before 6 am or after 10 pm (when there is no school the following day), they must first obtain a special work permit. The permit is valid for up to 90 days and can be extended, with both the permit and the renewal costing $10.

For minors aged 16-17 years old, there are no restrictions on work hours outlined in labor laws.

What are the Banned Jobs for Minors in Nebraska?

In Nebraska, regulations protect minors from being employed in occupations that are considered hazardous, in addition to limitations on work hours. These hazardous occupations could pose a risk to their health and well-being:

  • Manufacturing or storing explosives
  • Operating motor vehicles
  • Coal mining
  • Operating power-driven machinery
  • Logging and sawmilling
  • Roofing

Important Cautionary Note

This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, we cannot guarantee that it is free of errors or omissions. Users are advised to independently verify any critical information and should not solely rely on the content provided.