New Hampshire Labor Laws

New Hampshire Labor Laws (2024 Guide For Employers)

It’s essential for employers and employees working in the state of New Hampshire to have a solid understanding of New Hampshire labor laws.

  • Are you unsure about your rights regarding time off and leaves of absence
  • Do you need clarity on New Hampshire’s minimum wage laws and payment of wages?
  • Worried about discrimination based on national origin, marital status, or related medical conditions?

We aim to explore the complexities of employment regulations. With expertise in RSA regulations and extensive knowledge of state and federal employment law, we offer reliable insights to empower you in your workplace.

This article is for:

  • New Hampshire employees seeking understanding of their rights and protections.
  • Employers navigating compliance with state labor laws and recordkeeping requirements.
  • Individuals concerned about fair treatment in matters of wages, leaves of absence, and fringe benefits.

Comprehending New Hampshire’s labor laws can feel daunting, but you’re not alone. Whether you’re a full-time worker, an employer, or someone seeking clarity on personnel files and fringe benefits, we’re here to guide you through the maze of regulations with clarity and understanding.

When there is a mix of federal and state regulations at play, understanding labor laws is no easy task. This guide breaks down the key aspects of New Hampshire labor laws to help employers and employees understand their rights and responsibilities in the Granite State.

Disclaimer: Despite our best efforts to provide you with accurate information on this topic at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content at the time of reading. This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult an attorney for specific guidance on New Hampshire labor laws.

New Hampshire Wage Laws

Minimum Wage

New Hampshire follows the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour. Employers in the state of New Hampshire cannot legally pay their workers less than this amount.

Tipped Employees

Tipped employees have a lower minimum wage than other workers in New Hampshire. They are entitled to at least $3.98 per hour as a direct wage, and their tips must bring their total earnings up to the federal minimum wage. If tips don’t cover the difference, the employer must make up the gap.

New Hampshire Payment Laws

Pay Frequency

State law requires that employers in New Hampshire pay their workers on a weekly or biweekly basis. The only exception is for executive, administrative, or professional employees and some outside salespeople, who can be paid less often.


Employers must establish regular paydays and communicate those to their employees.

Final Wages

When an employee quits or is terminated, New Hampshire employers must pay all final wages due to the worker by their next regular payday. There may be an exception if the worker is terminated for cause.

New Hampshire Overtime Laws

New Hampshire aligns with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regarding overtime rules.

Non-exempt employees must receive overtime pay at a rate of one and a half times their regular rate of pay when they work more than 40 hours in a given workweek.

There are exemptions to overtime requirements for certain positions, based on job duties and salary level.

New Hampshire Break Laws

Meal Breaks

New Hampshire employers must provide an unpaid meal break of at least 30 minutes to employees who work for at least five consecutive hours. However, the meal break can be waived if the employee is able to eat while on the job and the employer allows them to do so.

Rest Breaks

New Hampshire labor laws do not mandate rest breaks for adult employees.

However, employers may choose to provide short breaks at their discretion, and federal law may require certain types of breaks in specific work situations.

New Hampshire Leave Requirements

While New Hampshire doesn’t offer mandated paid sick leave or other forms of paid leave, several federal and state laws provide for unpaid leave in specific situations:

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The FMLA allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year due to a serious health condition of their own, a family member’s serious health condition, the birth or adoption of a child, or military-related reasons.

Jury Duty Leave

New Hampshire employers must grant unpaid leave to employees summoned for jury duty. They cannot require the employee to use any other form of leave, such as vacation time.

Military Leave

State and federal laws mandate unpaid military leave for specific lengths of time, with reinstatement rights and potential continuation of health insurance benefits through COBRA.

Crime Victim Leave

New Hampshire laws permit employees to take unpaid leave if they or a family member are victims of certain types of crime and need to participate in legal proceedings.

Child Labor Laws in New Hampshire

New Hampshire places restrictions on the employment of minors to ensure their safety and well-being. Here’s what to know:

Minimum Working Age

The general minimum working age in New Hampshire is 14. However, there are special rules for children working in entertainment and agriculture.

Work Hours

Minors under the age of 16 have limits on daily and weekly work hours, as well as restrictions on working during school hours. Work hours are further restricted for those under 16.

Work Permits

For some types of work and ages, minors may need a work permit.

Hazardous Occupations

There are specific laws prohibiting minors from working in certain jobs deemed hazardous for their age group.

New Hampshire Hiring Laws

New Hampshire employers must comply with federal and state laws to avoid discriminatory hiring practices. The state prohibits discrimination on the basis of:

Background Checks

Employers must adhere to specific regulations when conducting background checks. This includes obtaining proper authorization from the applicant and providing notice if any adverse action is taken based on the background check results.

Pre-Employment Inquiries

New Hampshire employers should proceed with caution when asking pre-employment questions, as some inquiries might uncover information that cannot be legally used in hiring decisions. Be sure that any questions asked directly serve a legitimate business purpose.

Social Media

Employers are generally prohibited from asking for the passwords to an applicant’s social media accounts.

Equal Pay

Under New Hampshire law, employers must pay employees the same wages for the same work regardless of gender, race, religion, or other protected characteristics.

New Hampshire Termination Laws


New Hampshire is an employment-at-will state.

This means that employers may terminate employees for any reason, or no reason at all, as long as the termination doesn’t violate any law or contract.

Likewise, employees are free to quit their jobs at any time without giving a reason.

Wrongful Termination

Despite the at-will doctrine, there are situations where a termination can be considered wrongful. These include termination in violation of public policy, implied contract terms, or discrimination based on a protected class.


New Hampshire doesn’t mandate advance notice of termination except in specific situations such as plant closings and mass layoffs.

Occupational Safety in New Hampshire

Employers in New Hampshire have a duty to provide their workers with a safe and healthy work environment.

Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA)

Most private employers in New Hampshire are subject to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and its regulations. OSHA establishes standards for workplace safety, conducts inspections, and has the authority to issue citations and penalties for violations.

Workers’ Compensation

New Hampshire’s workers’ compensation laws provide benefits, including medical expenses and partial wage replacement, for employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. Nearly all employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance.

Whistleblower Protection

The New Hampshire Whistleblowers’ Protection Act protects employees who report certain unlawful workplace activities or participate in investigations of such activities.

Important Notes

Federal vs. State Law

Where federal and New Hampshire labor laws overlap, the laws providing the greater protection or rights to the employee will typically prevail.


There may be exemptions and specific rules for certain industries or types of workers. Be sure to research the laws that apply directly to your type of work or your business.


Laws change and it’s essential to stay updated on the latest regulations. The New Hampshire Department of Labor website is a good source for official labor laws and updates.

Disclaimer: Not Legal Advice

This blog post provides a general overview of New Hampshire labor laws but does not constitute legal advice. Laws and regulations are subject to change, and there may be additional requirements or exemptions that apply to specific situations. Employers and employees should consult a qualified labor law attorney for advice on their specific circumstances.

If you have any questions about your rights or obligations as an employer or employee in New Hampshire, it is essential to consult with a labor law attorney to receive accurate information and guidance tailored to your situation. By seeking professional legal advice, you can ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps to comply with labor laws and protect your rights.

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