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 Nebraska 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 Nebraska 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 can set certain guidelines that employees must meet before they can accrue vacation leave.
      • Once employees earn vacation leave, they cannot be denied a payout for the leave upon separation from employment. 
    • The amount of vacation leave accrued over time may be reasonably capped in the policy.
    • A “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a certain time may not be established. 
  • Jury Duty: Employers must pay employees for the time they take off from work to serve on a jury
  • Holiday Leave: Private employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid time off for holidays. 
  • Voting Leave:  Employees who do not have 2 hours while off work to vote are entitled to up to 2 hours paid leave to do so. As long as the employee gives notice in advance of election day, their pay cannot be deducted. 
  • Bereavement Leave: Employers are not required to provide bereavement leave.

Final Paycheck

Employees who are terminated, who quit or who resign due to a labor dispute must be paid final wages by the next regularly scheduled payday or within 2 weeks, whichever comes first. 

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in Nebraska is currently $9.00. 

Tipped Wages

The minimum wage rate for tipped employees is $2.13.

Child Labor

Minors 14 and 15 years of age are subject to the following restrictions:

  • When school is in session:
    • A maximum of 3 hours a day on school days
    • Between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
    • No working during school hours 
  • When school is not in session
    • A maximum of 8 hours a day 
    • No more than 40 hours a week 
    • Between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. from June 1 to Labor Day

Minors 16 and 17 years of age are subject to the following time restrictions:

  • When school is in session
    • No working during school hours 
    • A maximum of 8 hours a day
    • A maximum of 40 hours a week 
  • When school is not in session
    • No more than 8 hours a day 
    • A maximum of 40 hours a week 
    • No other time restrictions

Meal and Rest Breaks, Overtime

  • There are no state laws governing the payment of overtime, so federal rules apply. 
    • Federal law requires employers to pay non-exempt employees an overtime rate of 1 ½  their regular rate for all hours worked in a workweek in excess of 40. 
  • Nebraska labor laws only require employers to provide employees in assembling plants, mechanical establishments, and workshops a 30-minute lunch period in each shift of at least 8 hours. 
    • All other employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid breaks. 
    • Federal law does not require employers to provide meal periods or breaks, but if they choose to do so, breaks lasting less than 20 minutes must be paid. 
    • Meal periods do not need to be paid if employees are free to do as they wish. 

Employment Discrimination

  • The Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), disability, marital status, and retaliation. 
    • Nebraska’s Act Prohibiting Unjust Discrimination in Employment Because of Age makes employment discrimination on the basis of age illegal for employees ages 40 to 70 only whose employer has 25 or more employees.
  • Click here to read our blog on what acceptable and unacceptable questions to ask during an interview.       

Termination

Nebraska 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 Nebraska.

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