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New Hampshire Wage and Hour Laws Lawyer

New Hampshire and federal laws require employers to comply with certain minimum standards for what and when they pay their employees. Three of the primary things that these laws require are overtime pay, a minimum wage, and regular payment of wages. These laws are not simple because there are many exceptions to some of the basic rules. So, if you think that your employer is not following the law, you should contact an experienced employment lawyer like the ones at the New Hampshire Employee Rights Group or contact the New Hampshire Department of Labor.

Overtime Pay

Under both New Hampshire and federal law, employers must pay employees who work more than 40 hours in a week an overtime premium equal to 1.5 times their regular rate of pay unless an exemption applies. Whether an employee is exempt or non-exempt from overtime requirements can be complicated and you should seek guidance from an experienced employment lawyer or the New Hampshire Department of Labor (NHDOL) if you have a question about whether your employer has misclassified you as exempt.

Employees can be entitled to overtime pay even if they are not paid on an hourly basis. Some salaried employees are entitled to overtime pay and employees paid according to a piece rate can also be entitled to overtime pay. Some factors that must be considered to determine whether an employee is entitled to overtime pay are (a) the amount of money they earn; (b) their job duties; and (c) whether they are an employee or an independent contractor.

Many employers misclassify employees to cover up their unlawful failure to pay them overtime. For example, employers sometimes misclassify employees as independent contractors because independent contractors are not entitled to overtime pay. Another common way employers violate the law is when they claim that an employee's job duties render them exempt when, in fact, they do not. Just because your employer says that you are an independent contractor or that your job duties render you exempt from overtime pay does not make it so. Whether you are entitled to overtime pay depends on the realities of your job, not on labels that your employer uses.

If you do not receive overtime pay, do not just accept your employer's determination that you are not entitled to it. Do some research, contact the NHDOL, or contact the New Hampshire Employee Rights Group to determine whether you are entitled to overtime pay.

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in New Hampshire is the same as the federal minimum wage, $7.25 per hour. There are exceptions to the minimum wage requirement such as for tipped employees and minors. Even though the minimum wage in New Hampshire is the same as the federal minimum wage, the exceptions to the minimum wage requirement differ between New Hampshire and federal law. So, in some circumstances, an employee may be entitled to minimum wage under New Hampshire law even though they would not be entitled to it under federal law.

One example of a difference between federal law and New Hampshire law is how they treat minors. Under federal law, unless some other exemption to the minimum wage applies, employees under the age of 20 can be paid less than the minimum wage in certain circumstances for a limited period of time. But under New Hampshire law, unless some other exemption applies, employees aged 16 or older must be paid at least the minimum wage. Whenever a state law entitles an employee to a higher wage than federal law, the state law controls and the employee is entitled to the higher wage. So, in New Hampshire, unless some other exemption applies, employees between the ages of 16 and 20 must be paid at least the minimum wage even though they might not be entitled to minimum wage under federal law.

Regular Payment of Wages

Unless an employer receives permission from the New Hampshire Department of Labor (NHDOL) to do otherwise, New Hampshire law requires employers to pay employees within 8 days of the week in which the employee performed the work for which the employer is paying them. This basically results in a default rule that employees should receive a weekly paycheck. The NHDOL will not permit an employer to pay you less frequently than monthly.

Legal Remedies for Wage and Hour Law Violations

If an employer has failed to pay you all of the wages you are legally entitled to receive, you can pursue legal claims against it. If you prevail in a wage and hour lawsuit, the employer must pay you the wages that it failed to pay you; reasonable attorney fees and litigation expenses; and in some cases a penalty called "liquidated damages." The lawyers at the New Hampshire Employee Rights Group have experience successfully representing employees in wage and hour cases. If you need assistance with a wage and hour claim, please contact us.