Recent New Hampshire Department of Labor Random Audits Warrant Attention of New Hampshire Employers
Written By: Frederick Finberg
The Bennett Law Firm, P.A.
Our firm has seen our New Hampshire clients subjected to an increasing number of random audits by the New Hampshire Department of Labor. Although our clients have a strong record of compliance, the NHDOL has identified several recurring technical violations during these audits that are common among New Hampshire employers and can trigger fines. We encourage New Hampshire employers to conduct a review of wage and hour practices on an annual basis so as to keep up with changing state and federal laws and regulations.
Written Notice of Terms of Employment Required at Time of Hire and With Any Change
Every New Hampshire employer must at the time of hiring and prior to any changes notify his/her employees in writing as to the rate of pay or salary, whether by day, week, biweekly, semi-monthly, or year, or commissions, as well as the day and place of payment and the specific methods used to determine wages due. This is not a new requirement. However, many employers often overlook this notice requirement and face the risk of penalties as part of a NHDOL audit. New Hampshire employers should maintain in personnel files a Notice of Terms and Conditions of Employment signed by the employee at time of hire and whenever any change takes place such as a change in pay rate. IMPORTANT: Other states in the Northeast have similar requirements. If you have a multi state operation, please contact us for additional guidance.
Paying Employees Less Frequently than Weekly
New Hampshire employers must secure permission from the Department of Labor prior to paying employees less frequently than weekly. An employer must obtain permission for biweekly (or any time period that is not weekly). If you are not paying weekly and never obtained permission from the NHDOL you should file an appropriate request with the NHDOL to avoid having the NHDOL assess a fine during an audit.
Method of Payroll Payment
Although New Hampshire employers may pay employees by way of automatic deposit or a payroll debit card, New Hampshire law requires that employers offer employees the option of receiving payment by paper check. Additionally, paper checks must be drawn on financial institutions that are convenient to the place of employment. Moreover, the employer must make suitable arrangements with the financial institution so that an employee may cash the paper check without incurring a fee.
Safety Committees, Written Safety Plan and Biennial Filing With NHDOL
New Hampshire employers must have an active Joint Loss Management Committee, maintain a written safety plan and file a summary of the written safety plan with the NHDOL on a biennial basis. Employers with 20 or fewer employees must have a minimum of two members on the committee and employers with more than 20 employees must have a minimum of four members. There must be an equal number of employer and employee representatives on the committee. The committee must meet at least quarterly to carry out the duties and responsibilities required under New Hampshire law, including but not limited to maintaining and disseminating a committee policy statement, and clearly established goals and objectives. The committee must also review workplace accident and injury data and establish specific safety programs that include annual health and safety inspections, communication of identified hazards, w ith recommended control measures and assistance with identifying necessary safety and health training for employees.