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New Hampshire Wage and Hour Laws

There are both federal and state wage and hour laws that regulate important aspects of employer-employee relationships such as the minimum wage, overtime pay, and meal breaks. The federal Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage and hour laws that are applicable across the United States.

States are able to enact stricter laws as long as the state law doesn't dip below the federal minimum set by the FLSA. Some states have enacted their own wage and hour laws, and others have adopted the FLSA laws. The table below provides a brief overview of the wage and hour laws that are applicable in New Hampshire.

Code Section

New Hampshire Revised Statutes section 279:12: Minimum Hourly Rate

What's Required?

Non-exempt employees must not be paid at an hourly rate lower than that set forth in the federal minimum wage law.

As of July 24th, 2009 the federal minimum hourly wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act is $7.25.


Tipped employees: Employees of restaurants, hotels, motels, inns, or cabins who customarily and regularly receive more then $30 per month in tips directly from customers must receive a base wage from their employer of at least 45% of the federal minimum wage.

If the tipped employee's actual amount of wages received at the end of each pay period was less than the federal minimum wage, then the employer shall pay the employee the difference to guarantee the required minimum wage.

Exempt Employees

The minimum hourly rate doesn't apply to the following employees:
  • Employees engaged in household labor, domestic labor, farm labor, outside salesmen, nor employees of summer camps for minors
  • Employees engaged as newsboys, nor non-professional ski patrolmen or golf cadies
  • Employees with less than six months' experience in an occupation, or
  • Employees who are 16 years old or younger

Overtime Pay

Non-exempt employees must be paid at least one and a half times their regular pay rate for all time worked in excess of 40 hours in any one week. However, employees employed by a qualifying amusement, seasonal, or recreational establishment are exempt form New Hampshire's overtime pay requirement.


An employer who pays or agrees to pay an employee less than the rates applicable under New Hampshire's minimum wage law is guilty of a misdemeanor if the employer is a natural person or a felony if the employer is any other person.

Whistleblowers' Protection Act

In New Hampshire, there is a statute that provides protection for whistleblowers. Whistleblowers are employees who take it upon themselves to report illegal activity by their employer, for example wage and hour violations. New Hampshire revised statutes section 275-E:2 makes it illegal for an employer to engage in any of the acts listed below because the employee, in good faith, reports that the employer has violated a state law:

  • Harass
  • Abuse
  • Intimidate
  • Discharge
  • Threaten, or
  • Otherwise discriminate against any employee regarding compensation, terms, conditions, location, or privileges of employment

Wage and hour law violations can be reported to the state of New Hampshire via the state's website.

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information regarding New Hampshire's wage and hour laws contact a local employment law attorney.

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