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Nebraska Overtime Laws

Nebraska Overtime Laws

Nebraska Overtime Laws: A Comprehensive Guide

Overtime is a term used to denote the extra time an employee works beyond their regular working hours. The Nebraska Department of Labor specifies that employers are required to pay overtime to their employees at a rate of one and one-half times their hourly rate for all hours worked over 40 hours in a week. This article serves as a comprehensive guide to Nebraska overtime laws, including exemptions, rules, and regulations.

Overtime Pay Laws in Nebraska

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), passed in 1938, is the primary federal overtime law applicable to most employers, including those in Nebraska. The FLSA mandates that employees working beyond 40 hours in a workweek should receive an overtime pay of at least 1.5 times their regular hourly wage. However, Nebraska has its own unique overtime laws that serve as the minimum standards of compliance for employers.

Employers in Nebraska are required to pay overtime to their employees at a rate of one and one-half times their hourly rate for all hours worked over 40 hours in a week. Employers must pay their employees within two weeks of the end of the workweek in which the overtime was worked. Failure to pay overtime to eligible employees may result in legal action and penalties for the employer.

Exemptions to Nebraska’s Overtime Laws

Under Nebraska overtime laws, some employees are exempt from overtime pay. Such exemptions apply to specific job classifications or industries. Generally, the exemptions are based on the type of work that qualifies an employee for overtime pay. The exemptions to Nebraska’s overtime laws are as follows:

1. Executive, Administrative, and Professional employees: These are employees who perform job duties in a managerial, professional, or administrative capacity, and earn more than a certain minimum salary threshold.

2. Agricultural employees: Farm and ranch workers who work on agricultural land.

3. Salaried employees: Employees who earn a set salary each week, regardless of the number of hours worked. However, such salaried employees must meet additional requirements to qualify for the exemption.

4. Outside sales employees: Employees who perform sales outside of the employer’s usual place of business.

5. Motor Carrier employees: Truck drivers, mechanics, and loaders who are involved in interstate transportation.

6. Information technology employees: Employees whose work is related to computer systems, data processing, and software engineering.

7. Commissioned salespersons: Employees whose primary job is selling goods or services, and whose compensation mainly comprises commissions.

Understanding Nebraska’s Overtime Rules and Regulations

Apart from the state-specific overtime laws, there are additional rules and regulations that employers in Nebraska must be aware of. The following are some of the critical Nebraska overtime rules:

1. Workweek: For the purpose of calculating overtime pay, the workweek is defined as any seven consecutive days, rather than a set 40-hour workweek. Employers must calculate overtime pay based on the total hours worked per workweek starting from midnight on Sunday to Saturday at midnight.

2. Overtime calculations: Employers must pay their employees at least one and a half times their regular hourly pay for any hours worked over 40 hours per workweek.

3. Rest and meal breaks: Nebraska does not have any required break periods. However, if an employer provides a break period of less than twenty minutes, they must compensate the employee for that time.

4. Mandatory overtime: Except for emergency situations, employers cannot mandate an employee to work overtime.

5. Compensatory time off: Employers in Nebraska cannot offer compensatory time off (comp time) to exempt employees. Comp time may be given to non-exempt employees in place of overtime pay, but the employer must obtain written consent from the employee.

Enforcement of Nebraska’s Overtime Laws

The Nebraska Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division is responsible for enforcing labor laws, including overtime laws, in the state. The department investigates complaints of unpaid overtime wages and can bring legal action against employers who violate these laws. Employees who believe their employer has violated overtime laws can file a complaint with the Nebraska Department of Labor.

Penalties for Non-compliance

Employers who violate Nebraska’s overtime laws can face monetary penalties, including both back pay and overtime, plus additional penalties up to 100% of the amount owed to employees. Employers can also face legal action and penalties if an employee files a complaint with the Nebraska Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division.


Employers in Nebraska must comply with overtime laws to avoid legal action and penalties. Employers must pay eligible employees at least one and a half times their regular hourly pay for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. Employees exempt from receiving overtime pay include executive, administrative, and professional employees, agricultural employees, salaried employees, outside sales employees, motor carrier employees, information technology employees, and commissioned salespersons. It is necessary for employers to inform their employees of their exempt status or non-exempt status. Finally, employers must stay updated on the latest overtime rules and regulations to ensure compliance.

Quick Guide to Nebraska Overtime Law

Nebraska Overtime Laws

The state’s “Wage and Hour Act” does not have any provisions the directly address Nebraska overtime laws.  According to the Department of Labor, questions about NE overtime laws should be forwarded to the U.S. Department of Labor at (402) 221-4682.

This article will attempt to address how federal provisions under the Fair Standards Labor act control NE overtime laws.  If you have more questions about Nebraska overtime law apart from this article, contact the U.S. DOL.

Overtime Wages under Nebraska Overtime Laws

Under the FLSA and Nebraska overtime law, an employer is required to provide wages of one-half (1 ½) times the hourly minimum wage.  Since the minimum wage in NE is $7.25, the overtime wage is $10.88 according to Nebraska overtime laws.

Overtime wages must be paid to the employee after they have worked 40 hours in a workweek according to federal and Nebraska overtime law; however, there are certain exemptions under the FLSA.

Exemptions from NE Overtime Laws

If an employee works in a certain profession or meets another characteristic, they may not receive wages set by Nebraska overtime laws.  The following exemptions apply under Nebraska overtime law and the FLSA:

• domestic employee in a private home

• a bona fide executive, administrative or professional person

• voluntary services for educational, charitable, religious or nonprofit services

• salespersons or similar employees that receive mainly commission

• students working after school hours or on vacation

• registered apprentices and learners

• persons 18 or under that are not registered in some type of schooling

• persons 18 or under that have not graduated from secondary school

• G.I. bill trainees while under training

• certain seasonal employees

• certain employees employed in agriculture in Nebraska

• an employee in handling, drying, packing, packaging, processing, freezing or canning of any type of agriculture or horticultural commodity

• employees of charitable, religious or nonprofit organizations who reside on the premises of the organizations

The exemptions from NE overtime laws may not stand if the employee makes less than $23,600 a year.

Do NE overtime laws apply to holiday and weekend pay?

Nebraska overtime laws do not require an employer to pay an employee extra wages for working during the holiday or weekend.  Nebraska overtime law allows employers and employees to enter bargaining agreements, but employers do not necessarily need to pay extra wages.

Filing a Wage Claim for Violation of Nebraska Overtime Laws

In order to file a wage claim for the violation of Nebraska overtime law, an employee should visit the following website:

Before filing a wage claim for violation of NE overtime laws, you need to make regard your employment contract to make sure your claim is valid.  If you file a claim for unrecognized overtime laws and the court dismisses the claim after investigation, you will be responsible for court costs.

Before filing a claim for breach of a Nebraska overtime law, an employee is always encouraged to try and settle the dispute with the employer before taking legal action, and rights under the Public Employee Bargaining Act allow the employee to bargain for higher wages and benefits.

If you believe NE overtime laws have been violated and you file a claim, your employer cannot take retaliatory action against you—even if the claim is dismissed.  If you have filed a claim against your employer in light of a Nebraska overtime law and they have taken retaliatory action against you, you should contact the DOL right away.