It’s important to stay up to date on all of the employment laws in your state so that you can maintain compliance in your business. We did some of the hard work for you and put some of the most important Delaware statutes in one place so you can either learn them for the first time or give yourself a refresher. 

However, remember that our summary is not qualified legal advice, laws are always subject to change, and they can vary from municipality to municipality. 

It’s up to you to make sure you’re compliant with all laws and statutes in your area. Consult with a qualified lawyer and/or your local government agencies if you have questions or concerns. 

Here are a few Delaware labor laws every small business owner should know.

Resources

First, here are a few helpful links and resources for you to bookmark and refer back to:

Leave

  • Sick Days: Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid sick leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one.
  • Medical Leave: Employers may be required to provide an employee unpaid leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
  • Vacation Leave: Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid vacation leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one.
    • Employers may establish a contract that denies employees payment for accrued vacation leave if they resign, if they are terminated, or if they fail to meet certain requirements. 
    • Employers can cap the amount of vacation time that can be accrued. 
  • Jury Duty: Employers are not required to pay an employee for time taken to respond to a jury summons, but they are not allowed to punish the employee in any way and may not require them to use any available vacation or sick leave. 
  • Holiday Leave: Private employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid time off for holidays. 
  • Voting Leave:  Employers are not required to allow employees time off, either paid or unpaid, to vote. 
    • An employer cannot prevent employees from using any available leave to act as an election officer as long as the employee is not in a critical need position. 
  • Bereavement Leave: Employers are not required to provide bereavement leave. 

Final Paycheck

Employers must pay all final wages to employees who separate from employment for any reason (including termination, resignation, or separation due to a labor strike) by the next regularly scheduled payday. 

Minimum Wage

The current minimum wage in Delaware is $9.25. 

Tipped Wages

  • The current minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.23.
  • Employees may agree to participate in a tip pooling or sharing arrangement, but employers cannot be coerced to do so. 
  • If more than one employee provides direct service to customers, the employer can require the employees to participate in a sharing system that does not exceed 15% of the primary gratuities. 

Child Labor

  • Minors 14 and 15 years of age may not work: 
    • Before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. except from June 1 through Labor Day, when they may work until 9 p.m.
    • More than 4 hours a day on school days
    • More than 8 hours a day on non-school days
    • More than 18 hours in any week when school is in session for 5 days
    • More than 6 days in any week 
    • More than 40 hours a week when school is not in session
    • More than 5 hours continuously without a break of at least 30 minutes
  • Minors 16 and 17 years of age may not work:
    • More than 12 hours in a combination of school and work hours per day
    • More than 5 hours continuously without a break of at least 30 minutes
  • Minors 16 and 17 years of age must have at least 8 consecutive hours of non-work, non-school time in each 24-hour period. 

Meal and Rest Breaks, Overtime

  • There are no state laws regarding overtime, so federal rules apply. 
  • Aside from the previously mentioned break required for minor employees, employers are also required to provide meal breaks of at least 30 minutes to adult employees who work 7.5 hours or more in a day. 
    • The break can be unpaid, and must be given sometime after the first 2 hours of work and before the last 2 hours. 

Employment Discrimination

  • Delaware law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race, marital status, genetic information, color, age, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.
  • Click here to read our blog on what acceptable and unacceptable questions to ask during an interview.       

Termination

Delaware is an employment-at-will state, which means that without a written employee contract, employees can be terminated for any reason at any time, provided that the reason is not discriminatory and that the employer is not retaliating against the employee for a rightful action. 

Shift Scheduling

There are currently no laws regarding shift scheduling in Delaware. 

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