The state of New Hampshire has a number of labor laws in place to protect employees from employers, including wage and hour laws designed to protect an employee’s earned wages. If your employer is not giving you your paycheck or if you are having a dispute about your paycheck, you should know what rights you have under these laws.

When Must Paychecks Be Sent Out?

In New Hampshire, all employers are supposed to pay their employees biweekly, unless an employer gets permission from the Department of Labor to pay on a monthly or semimonthly basis or pays you in advance. Even if your employer is granted permission to pay less frequently than once every other week, they still must pay you on a regular schedule. However, if your employer pays you for your work in advance, then they are not held by any requirements to pay you by a certain time.

What Happens If I Am Fired?

You should be provided with your last paycheck within 72 hours if you have been fired. However, if you have been laid off, the company can wait until the next payday to give you your final paycheck. Employees that quit are entitled to receive their last paycheck by the next payday, unless that employee gave at least one pay period notice or is not allowed to work for the period of notice that they have given. If either of those situations occurs, then the employee is entitled to their wages within 72 hours. 

Companies that choose to provide paid vacation leave will need to pay that amount to any employee that has any unused days when they leave the job. The same rule applies whether you were fired or quit.

Can My Paycheck Be Garnished?

Usually, your wages may be garnished, but this can only be done with the express permission of the court. For most personal debts, a creditor seeking payment from you has to go to court and get a judgment against you before they an ask your employer to automatically deduct the debt payments from your paycheck. A few debts do not need a judgment, such as past due child support, unpaid taxes, and defaulted student loans.

If you damaged property or products at work, your employer is not allowed to deduct wages from your paycheck to cover that cost. Your employer is also not allowed to deduct overpayment from your paycheck, unless you provide them with written permission to retrieve that amount.

Can I Recover a Withheld Paycheck?

There is no valid reason why your employer should withhold your check. If your employer does this, you do have the right to fight for what is owed to you. In trying to get an unpaid paycheck, you can file a complaint with the New Hampshire Department of Labor or you can go after the paycheck in court.

What Are Some Other Things I Should Know?

Your employer cannot ask you to pay for uniforms or for any necessary medical tests for your job. Employers have to cover these costs themselves and cannot deduct these costs from your wages. However, your employer can make you cover the cost for obtaining any permits or licenses that you may need for your job.

Where Can I Find the Right Lawyer?

You may need legal assistance if your employer is violating New Hampshire’s wage and hour laws. Getting help from a New Hampshire employment lawyer can be extremely important when you are fighting to receive your earned wages.