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How the Minimum Wage Affects Your Business

Paying minimum wage for all hours worked

New Hampshire no longer has its own minimum wage.  Instead, it applies the federal minimum wage (currently $7.25 per hour) as the threshold wage.  However, as of January 1, 2015, under an Executive Order, federal contractors need to pay a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour.

There are a few exceptions to this minimum wage law, including special rates for student learners and tipped employees, to name a few. If you employ interns, student learners, tipped employees, or anyone under the age of 18, you need to make sure you know the special rules for these classifications. Mistakes could be costly. A violation of the Youth Employment Law could cost a company $11,000.

Paying 2 hours minimum pay

An employer must pay 2 hours of minimum pay on any given day that an employee reports to work at the request of the employer.

In New England, this is also known as the “bad weather” rule. It applies primarily to hourly employees in the private sector.

Normally, if bad weather is expected, management should decide in advance what would cause them to cancel a shift or close the offices for the day.  Smart employers tell their employees what the criteria is the night before (for example, if the local schools are closed, the office is closed), minimizing the need to reach out to employees individually.

However, if an employer doesn’t catch an employee in time, and the employee shows up for work, the employer will have to pay a minimum of 2 hours of pay. Unless there is a power outage, no heat, or no running water, the employee can be put to work for those 2 hours. There is an exception to this rule. If the employee’s job or task requires less than two hours of work that day, the employee only needs to be paid for the time worked, but this arrangement must be in writing in advance of the time worked.

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