New Hampshire Labor Laws

March 15th 2024

This article covers:

What are New Hampshire 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.

New Hampshire Minimum Wage $7.25
New Hampshire Overtime 1.5 times the rate of the standard wage
($10.88 for workers earning minimum wages)
New Hampshire Break Laws 30-minute meal break for all employees working for 5 consecutive hours
24-hour rest day after working for 7 consecutive days

What are the Hiring, Working & Termination Laws in New Hampshire?

It’s not surprising that New Hampshire’s hiring laws align with federal criteria, given the state’s reliance on federal laws. Discrimination laws that affect job interviews, hiring decisions, and regular workdays are closely tied to hiring laws. Federal law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on factors such as:

  • Race and color
  • Creed
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Sex
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Marital and familial status
  • Disability and age
  • Sexual orientation
  • Tobacco use

It’s worth mentioning that New Hampshire doesn’t have a “right-to-work” law which means that the government hasn’t enacted legislation to ensure employees won’t need to join or associate with a labor union.

In New Hampshire, employers have the right to terminate an employee’s contract of employment for any valid reason without facing legal consequences, due to the “employment-at-will” arrangement that many US states have. However, there are exceptions to the rule, such as firing an employee in violation of labor laws and required leaves of absence or violating company policies approved by the commissioner. The only time employers have to notify the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security is when more than 25 employees are fired simultaneously. In case of wrongful termination, employees can recover lost wages, back pay, 401k contributions, and lost benefits. Moreover, they can also claim compensation for pain, suffering, and emotional distress caused by the unjust dismissal.

New Hampshire Protective Legislation states that any unpaid wages must be fully paid within 72 hours (3 days) of an employee being terminated by their employer. However, if the employee resigns, their wages will be paid in full on the next payday. If the wages are not paid by the next payday, the employer will be fined an additional 10% of the total wages for the days that follow the termination (excluding Sundays and non-working holidays).

What Are the Key Labor Laws in New Hampshire?

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

  • COBRA Laws – According to the federal law known as COBRA, employees who experience job loss can still receive their group health benefits for up to 18 to 36 months after termination, whether it was voluntary or involuntary. To ensure compliance, employers are required to provide COBRA election notices for their employees. After receiving the notice, employees have 60 days to apply for COBRA, pay a 2% administrative fee, and maintain their health coverage. This provision applies to businesses with 20 or more employees, hence why some states, like New Hampshire, have implemented mini-COBRAs that cover healthcare costs for all businesses. In New Hampshire, employees and their dependents can receive health coverage for 39 weeks after paying the premium.
  • OSHA Laws – In New Hampshire, there are no state plans for occupational safety, so the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for safety measures in the public sector. OSHA was created in 1970 to protect employees who work in hazardous environments, covering various hazards such as biological, chemical, physical, ergonomic, safety, and work organization. OSHA conducts regular inspections to ensure that all workplaces are safe, and employers and employees comply with health standards.
  • Background Check Law – Employers in New Hampshire are permitted to perform background checks on prospective hires, as long as they abide by specific guidelines. These guidelines require employers to conduct screenings and checks in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations to ensure a legal hiring process. Certain industries, such as schools, daycare centers, foster care agencies, residential and children’s camps, and nursing homes, necessitate background checks. Employers may also use consumer reports to aid in their decision-making if the job candidate has been given written notice as part of the New Hampshire Credit Reporting Act.
  • Whistleblower Law – In New Hampshire, the Department of Labor guarantees protection to employees who report workplace violations under the Whistleblower Protection Act. The law prohibits employers from harassing or intimidating employees who decide to “blow the whistle.” Additionally, an employee cannot be fired for refusing to participate in illegal activities or breaking federal and state laws. The law also protects employees who report workplace violations or participate in an open investigation.
  • Social Media Law – When assessing their employees in New Hampshire, employers cannot ask for personal information related to social media accounts. Specifically, this includes usernames, passwords, and authentication information.
  • Recordkeeping Law – New Hampshire doesn’t have separate recordkeeping regulations, so it follows federal rules, which are:
    • Payroll information, bargaining agreements, sales and purchases, I-9 forms, certificates, and notices must be kept for a period of 3 years.
    • Shipping and billing records, timecards, wage rate information, and details of additions and deductions from wages should be retained for 2 years.
    • Employment information related to hiring, termination, and any additional documentation accumulated during the employment period must be preserved for a minimum of 1 year, as mandated by the employer’s obligations.

New Hampshire Payment Laws

To start off, 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 New Hampshire?

In order to comply with state laws, all employers in New Hampshire are required to keep accurate records of the daily work hours of all employees, regardless of their profession. The current minimum wage rate in New Hampshire is set at $7.25 per hour, which is in line with the federal minimum wage requirements. It’s worth noting that the federal minimum wage rate has not been increased since 2008, when it saw a $0.70 increase.

The minimum wage for tipped workers in New Hampshire is currently set at 45% of the federal and state minimum wage, which amounts to a minimum of $3.27. This wage applies to employees in food service facilities such as restaurants, motels, inns, cabins, and hotels. To be considered a tipped employee by federal standards, employees must regularly receive at least $30 in tips per month. While New Hampshire tipped employees are not required to participate in tip pooling or sharing arrangements, employers can act as mediators if any misunderstandings or disputes arise.

In New Hampshire, there are no limitations on the subminimum wage for people with disabilities, which means they will not be paid less than the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25. This also applies to learners, student-workers, and apprentices. Trainees can be paid a training wage of at least 75% of the state minimum wage if they have less than 6 months of experience in the field, which amounts to a minimum of $5.44 per hour. Employers can apply for a subminimum wage or no wage for high school and postsecondary school students working for practical experience.

What are the Exceptions for Minimum Payment in New Hampshire?

There are certain exceptions to the minimum wage law on both federal and state levels. Federal exceptions include executive, administrative, and professional employees who are paid at least the state minimum wage, as well as highly compensated employees who earn over $500,000 annually. In the state of New Hampshire, exceptions include household, domestic, and farm labor, newspaper delivery, outside sales, summer camps, and golf and ski track maintenance. Additionally, tipped employees receiving $3.27 per hour and exempt organizations like non-profits and educational institutions are also exempt.

What is the Payment Due Date in New Hampshire?

When it comes to payment frequency, there are no specific laws governing the matter. It is at the discretion of employers to decide whether they want to pay their employees weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. However, if they do choose to pay their employees weekly, they must do so within 8 days after the workweek has ended. If they prefer to pay them bi-weekly, then they must pay them within 15 days after the expiration of the two workweeks. Employers may request authorization for less frequent payments from the commissioner of the Department of Labor. It is important to note that payments must always be made using lawful US currency and can be sent through electronic fund transfers, payroll cards, checks, and direct deposits.

What are New Hampshire Overtime Laws?

In New Hampshire, overtime laws follow federal regulations. This means that employees who are not exempt and work over 40 hours per week are entitled to receive overtime pay, equating to 1.5 times the minimum wage. It’s essential to note that New Hampshire overtime pay is calculated weekly and not daily, unlike in some other states. In New Hampshire, overtime pay amounts to $10.88 per hour, based on the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

What are Overtime Exceptions and Exemptions in New Hampshire?

In New Hampshire, the overtime pay rules closely align with the FLSA. This means that in terms of overtime exceptions and exemptions, similar conditions apply in both cases. Generally speaking, exemptions from overtime pay are applicable in New Hampshire. These exemptions are:

  • Executive and administrative employees that make a minimum of $684 per week or $35,568 on an annual basis, outside sales employees, professional employees (artists, teachers, skilled computer professionals, etc.)
  • Highly compensated employees who make more than $107,432 a year.
  • Household, domestic, and farm labor
  • Newspaper delivery
  • Summer camps
  • Golf and ski track maintenance

Learn more in detail about New Hampshire Overtime Laws.

What are New Hampshire Time Off/Break Laws?

 In New Hampshire, the rules around employee breaks differ from federal law regarding overtime. Regardless of the field, all employees have the right to take a 30-minute meal break after working continuously for 5 hours. If a worker is underage, employers may choose to offer longer break periods, but this is at their discretion. The employer is not responsible for providing any rest breaks in addition to meal breaks.

What are the Exceptions to Break Laws in New Hampshire?

When an employee is allowed to work and eat at the same time as part of their job duties, their break time will be compensated. If this is not the case, the break time is unpaid. It’s worth noting that while there’s no legal requirement for employers to provide rest periods, it’s generally expected that they’ll offer a 24-hour rest day once an employee has worked for 7 consecutive days.

What are New Hampshire Breastfeeding Laws?

In New Hampshire, mothers are permitted to breastfeed in public as long as they are authorized to be there. However, the law regarding breastfeeding in the workplace is more complex. The state law lacks clarity on the topic of lactation and milk expression, but federal law mandates that women be allowed reasonable breaks in a designated area for expressing milk. Nonetheless, employers with 50 or fewer employees may seek exemptions if multiple breaks create burdensome conditions.

What are New Hampshire Leave Laws?

New Hampshire provides two types of leaves – required and non-required leaves.

What is New Hampshire Required Leave?

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

  • Family and Medical Leave – In the United States, Family and Medical Leave laws provide protection for employees who have to deal with family and medical emergencies. States have their own FMLA versions, but New Hampshire does not, so federal leave laws apply. FMLA covers situations such as caring for an ailing family member, taking maternity or paternity leave within a year of having a child, dealing with health conditions or tending to a family member on military duty. To access FMLA benefits, workers must fulfill certain criteria, including having worked in a business for at least a year, completing a minimum of 1,250 hours, and working in a company with at least 50 staffers within 75 miles. Employees who meet the criteria can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a year. After 12 months have passed, FMLA can be used again. Moreover, military caregiver leave is covered under FMLA, in case an employee’s spouse or family member is injured on military duty. It is important to note that military caregiver leave cannot be reused if the same person is injured again.
  • Jury Duty Leave – Employers in New Hampshire are mandated to offer leave — unpaid or paid — for employees who have to attend jury duty or jury selection. Should an employee require to validate their attendance based on the time spent on duty, a jury summons may be requested. In case the employee’s absence on jury duty impacts the employer significantly, the court may excuse their appearance with proper documentation.
  • Emergency Response Leave – In the state of New Hampshire, employers are required to grant a leave of absence to employees who find themselves in a “first responder” situation. This policy is governed by the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and typically applies to medical personnel and technicians, firefighters, and law enforcement officers.
  • Crime Victim Employment Leave – New Hampshire joined several US states in 2006 by implementing the Crime Victim Employment Leave Act. This act requires all employers in the state to provide unpaid leave to an employee who is a crime victim, immediate family member of a homicide victim, immediate family member of an incompetent family member who is a crime victim (as defined by the law), or legal guardian of a minor who is a crime victim, after proper documentation is filed and provided to the employer. If granting the leave would cause the employer “undue hardship”, they may limit the duration of the absence.
  • Pregnancy and Disability Leave – In New Hampshire, employers are required by law to grant leave to employees who are unable to work due to pregnancy, childbirth, caring for a newborn, or related medical conditions. The employee’s fitness to return to work will be evaluated by a professional and once deemed fit, will be reinstated to their previous position.
  • Military Leave – In New Hampshire, if a full-time worker gets summoned for military drills or temporary training, the employer is required to grant a 15-day leave with full pay. Note that this is applicable only to employees who haven’t been inducted or enlisted yet. After 15 days, the worker may be given an extra 30-day leave with partial pay if needed to complete service in the Armed Forces. If the employee is already an active soldier, the leave granted is indefinite, lasting until their service is over.
  • Holiday Leave (Public Employers) – While public employers in New Hampshire aren’t required to give their employees paid holiday leave, they are, however, mandated to provide time off during state holidays.

What is New Hampshire Non-Required Leave?

The non-required leave types are:

  • Sick Leave – Employers have the option to include sick days in their leave of absence policies, but it’s not mandatory. If they do offer sick leave, they need to abide by their own policy, which will be reviewed by the commissioner of the Labor and Industry. The policy should outline how sick days are used and how they are earned.
  • Voting Leave – Employers in New Hampshire are not legally obligated to grant employees time off to vote. However, if an employee is unable to physically make it to the polling station due to work-related reasons (such as being away on a business trip), they can apply to be an “absent voter” and cast their ballot from elsewhere. This is outlined in the state’s absentee voting statute.
  • Bereavement Leave – When it comes to taking time off for bereavement, it’s up to the employer to decide if they want to offer paid or unpaid leave. If they do, they must clearly communicate the details of their policy in writing or display it alongside other employment policies in a highly visible spot in the workplace.
  • Holiday Leave (Private Employers) – While there is no legal obligation for private employers in New Hampshire to offer holiday leave to their employees, many do so to foster better relationships among team members and uplift spirits. Nonetheless, said employers can still ask their employees to work during such occasions, provided that their contracts do not state otherwise, and compensate them with an overtime wage equivalent to 1.5 times their regular hourly rate.

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 New Hampshire Child Labor Laws?

 Child labor laws, both on a federal and state level, aim to safeguard minors from exploitation in the workplace. This protection extends to physical, moral, and emotional hazards. In New Hampshire, the Department of Labor and the US Department of Labor have outlined specific laws governing the employment of minors. Minors under the age of 16 are not allowed to work until they have obtained a New Hampshire Employment Certificate from their school superintendent. Obtaining the certificate within the first three business days is important to avoid any penalties. 16- and 17-year-old minors may only work if they have graduated from high school or obtained an equivalent diploma and have received written permission to work from their parents or legal guardians. Employers must also have proof of age for minors on their premises, which can be established through a birth certificate, passport, immigration record, or official identification card.

What are the Laws on Working Hours for Minors in New Hampshire?

There are two sets of restrictions that apply to minors under the age of 16, depending on whether they fall under a mix of federal and state laws or just state laws. To determine which category a minor employee falls under, please contact the office of the Commissioner of Labor.

Age Group Work Time Restrictions
Up to 15 years old Before 07:00 a.m. and after 07:00 p.m., except from June 1st up until Labor Day
During school hours
More than 3 hours on school days and 8 hours on non-school days
More than 18 hours per week and 40 hours on non-school weeks
16-17 years old (enrolled in high school) More than 30 hours/6 days consecutively during a school calendar week
More than 48 hours/6 days consecutively during a vacation week
More than 10 hours per day in manufacturing
More than 10 hours per day in mechanical labor
More than 8 hours per night if working a night shift
16-17 years old (not attending school) More than 10 hours per day/48 hours per week in manufacturing
More than 10 hours per day/54 hours per week in mechanical or manual labor
More than 8 hours per shift/48 hours per week if working the night shift

What are the Banned Jobs for Minors in New Hampshire?

It is generally agreed upon in all US states that minors cannot be employed in jobs that pose a physical, emotional, or moral danger. In New Hampshire, anyone under 18 is prohibited from working in specific occupations such as:

  • Handling explosives
  • Driving vehicles
  • Performing mining or logging work
  • Operating machinery like those in woodworking, metalworking, or processing, making bricks or tiles
  • Doing dangerous construction work like demolition or wrecking
  • Working on rooftops or excavation sites

What Sanctions are There for Employing Minors in New Hampshire?

 Employers in New Hampshire who violate child labor laws can face serious consequences. The fines can range between $500 and $10,000 depending on the severity of the violation. In the event a minor is harmed or killed due to violations, employers may face a fine of up to $50,000, which would double to $100,000 for repeat offenses. Additionally, willful violations of federal child labor laws can result in fines of up to $10,000.

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.