New Hampshire’s current minimum wage is $7.25.
New Hampshire employers must also comply with federal minimum wage laws, which currently set the federal minimum wage at $7.25. See FLSA: Minimum Wage.
If an employer chooses to pay employees minimum wage, the employer must pay those employees in accordance with the minimum wage law, either federal or state, that results in the employees being paid the higher wage.
Tip minimum wage
New Hampshire’s minimum wage for tipped employees is $3.27.
New Hampshire law permits employers to pay employees not less than 45% of the applicable minimum wage if the employees:
- work for a restaurant (including those who deliver prepared food), hotel, motel, inn, or cabin, and
- customarily and regularly receive more than $30 a month in tips directly from customers
New Hampshire defines tips as money paid by a customer to an employee in response to services performed. NH Statute 279:1(XII)
If an employer chooses to pay employees tipped wages, they must ensure the employees are paid the standard minimum wage when an employee’s tipped wages are combined with tips received. If the employee does not receive enough tips to cover the difference between the tipped minimum wage and the standard minimum wage, the employer must pay the employee the difference. NH Statute 279:21.
Tips are the property of the employees who receive them and an employer may not withhold, divert, or use tips in any manner not allowed by New Hampshire’s minimum wage law. NH Statute 279:26-b(I); NH Admin. Rules, Lab 803.02(f)
Tip pooling and sharing
New Hampshire law prohibits employers from requiring or coercing employees to participate in tip pooling or tip sharing arrangements. NH Statute 279:26-b(I) However, employees may voluntarily agree to participate in tip pooling or tip sharing arrangements. Employers may administer tip pooling or tip sharing arrangements at the request of employees, provide guidance regarding the details of the arrangement and mediate any dispute between employees arising under the tip pooling or tip-sharing arrangement. NH Statute 279:26-b(II).
Employees participating in a tip pool may voluntarily and without coercion agree to share part of the common tip pool to other employees, regardless of their job categories, who participate in providing service to customers. NH Statute 279.36-b
New Hampshire law defines tip pooling as the practice of intermingling tips earned by employees in the same job category to be redistributed among participating employees. NH Statute 279:1(XIII) Tip sharing, on the other hand, is defined as tipped employees giving a portion of their tips to other employees who participated in providing service to customers. NH Statute 279:1(XIV)
Employees with disabilities
New Hampshire minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay employees with disabilities a subminimum wage rate that is less than the standard minimum wage. NH Statute 279:22.
New Hampshire minimum wage laws allow employers to pay employees with less than six (6) months experience in an occupation not less than 75% of the standard minimum wage if the employer has filed an application with the New Hampshire Department of Labor within 10 days of the employees hire and the application is approved. NH Statute 279:21(IV)
The New Hampshire Department of Labor, upon application of a participating employer or proper school authority, may permit employers to pay less than the standard minimum wage or no wages at all to high school or post-secondary students who are employed for practical experience. If such a program is established, the Department of Labor must create guidelines, consistent with state and federal law, to determine if an employer-employee relationship exists and if compensation is required.
An employer cannot displace an existing worker with a trainee is paid a sub-minimum wage. NH Statute 279:22-aa(I) To obtain approval, the participating employer or proper school authority must file an application with the Department of Labor in accordance with established administrative rules set for by NH Admin. Rules, Lab 805.02-04. NH Statute 279:22.
New Hampshire minimum wage laws do not permit employers to pay apprentices a wage rate less than the standard minimum wage.
New Hampshire minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay learners a subminimum wage rate that is less than the standard minimum wage.
New Hampshire minimum wage laws allow employers to pay student learners a subminimum wage rate that is less than the standard minimum wage if the employer has received approval from the New Hampshire Department of Labor to do so. To qualify, an employee must be a student enrolled at a high school or post-secondary school who works for practical experience prior to placement with an outside employer.
There is no minimum wage the Department of Labor must approve for student learners and, in fact, the Department of Labor may approve an application that permits the employer not to pay the student learner at all. The Department of Labor will approve an application to pay student learners a subminimum wage if the following criteria are met:
- there is no employer/employee relationship between the school and student learner;
- the student learner does not displace any regular employees but work under their close observation;
- the school provides safety training to the student learner;
- the school is not otherwise in violation of any New Hampshire labor laws.
New Hampshire minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay student workers a subminimum wage rate that is less than the standard minimum wage unless the employee qualifies as a student learner.