Nebraska Revised Statute 48-1229
Chapter 48 Section 1229
For purposes of the Nebraska Wage Payment and Collection Act, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) Employee means any individual permitted to work by an employer pursuant to an employment relationship or who has contracted to sell the goods or services of an employer and to be compensated by commission. Services performed by an individual for an employer shall be deemed to be employment, unless it is shown that (a) such individual has been and will continue to be free from control or direction over the performance of such services, both under his or her contract of service and in fact, (b) such service is either outside the usual course of business for which such service is performed or such service is performed outside of all the places of business of the enterprise for which such service is performed, and (c) such individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession, or business. This subdivision is not intended to be a codification of the common law and shall be considered complete as written;
(2) Employer means the state or any individual, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint-stock company, trust, corporation, political subdivision, or personal representative of the estate of a deceased individual, or the receiver, trustee, or successor thereof, within or without the state, employing any person within the state as an employee;
(3) Federally insured financial institution means a state or nationally chartered bank or a state or federally chartered savings and loan association, savings bank, or credit union whose deposits are insured by an agency of the United States Government;
(4) Fringe benefits includes sick and vacation leave plans, disability income protection plans, retirement, pension, or profit-sharing plans, health and accident benefit plans, and any other employee benefit plans or benefit programs regardless of whether the employee participates in such plans or programs;
(5) Payroll debit card means a stored-value card issued by or on behalf of a federally insured financial institution that provides an employee with immediate access for withdrawal or transfer of his or her wages through a network of automatic teller machines. Payroll debit card includes payroll debit cards, payroll cards, and paycards; and
(6) Wages means compensation for labor or services rendered by an employee, including fringe benefits, when previously agreed to and conditions stipulated have been met by the employee, whether the amount is determined on a time, task, fee, commission, or other basis. Paid leave, other than earned but unused vacation leave, provided as a fringe benefit by the employer shall not be included in the wages due and payable at the time of separation, unless the employer and the employee or the employer and the collective-bargaining representative have specifically agreed otherwise. Unless the employer and employee have specifically agreed otherwise through a contract effective at the commencement of employment or at least ninety days prior to separation, whichever is later, wages includes commissions on all orders delivered and all orders on file with the employer at the time of separation of employment less any orders returned or canceled at the time suit is filed.
1. Vacation and sick leave
2. Consideration as wages
1. Vacation and sick leave
Under the 2007 amendments to this section, unused "paid time off" hours constitute unused vacation leave when the only stipulated condition for earning the hours is the rendering of services and an employee has an absolute right to take this time off for any purpose that he or she wishes. In that circumstance, an employee's unused paid time off hours are wages that an employer must pay upon separation of employment. Fisher v. PayFlex Systems USA, 285 Neb. 808, 829 N.W.2d 703 (2013).
The Nebraska Wage Payment and Collection Act does not prohibit an employer from providing a sick leave benefit which may be used only in the event of illness or injury and which has no monetary value upon termination of employment if it is not so used. Loves v. World Ins. Co., 277 Neb. 359, 773 N.W.2d 348 (2009).
The Nebraska Wage Payment and Collection Act does not prohibit an employer from providing a sick leave benefit which may be used only in the event of illness or injury and which has no monetary value upon termination of employment if it is not so used. Loves v. World Ins. Co., 276 Neb. 936, 758 N.W.2d 640 (2008).
Under the plain language of subsection (4) of this section, unused sick leave is not a part of wages payable to a separating employee unless there is a specific agreement otherwise. Loves v. World Ins. Co., 276 Neb. 936, 758 N.W.2d 640 (2008).
Accrued vacation time, which is part of an employment agreement, is due and payable as wages upon termination of employment. Roseland v. Strategic Staff Mgmt., 272 Neb. 434, 722 N.W.2d 499 (2006).
2. Consideration as wages
An appellate court will consider a payment a wage subject to the Nebraska Wage Payment and Collection Act if (1) it is compensation for labor or services, (2) it was previously agreed to, and (3) all the conditions stipulated have been met. Timberlake v. Douglas County, 291 Neb. 387, 865 N.W.2d 788 (2015).
The list of fringe benefits under the former subsection (3) of this section is not exclusive. Under the former subsection (4), "injured on duty" agreed-upon benefits for employees who are injured while performing a high-risk duty are wages that an employee can earn just by rendering the specified services. Timberlake v. Douglas County, 291 Neb. 387, 865 N.W.2d 788 (2015).
A payment will be considered a wage subject to the Nebraska Wage Payment and Collection Act if (1) it is compensation for labor or services, (2) it was previously agreed to, and (3) all the conditions stipulated have been met. Eikmeier v. City of Omaha, 280 Neb. 173, 783 N.W.2d 795 (2010).
Payments pursuant to a severance agreement that were not earned and did not accrue through continued employment are not compensation for labor or services rendered, and therefore, the employee is not entitled to attorney fees. Eikmeier v. City of Omaha, 280 Neb. 173, 783 N.W.2d 795 (2010).
Pursuant to subsection (3) of this section, deferred compensation constitutes wages under the Nebraska Wage Payment and Collection Act. Sindelar v. Canada Transport, Inc., 246 Neb. 559, 520 N.W.2d 203 (1994).
Where an employment contract provides for the sharing of possible financial losses, sums collected under such a provision are not "benefits" which could be considered "wages" under subsection (3) of this section. Brown v. Clayton Brokerage Co., 238 Neb. 646, 472 N.W.2d 381 (1991).
Where an employment agreement provides for sharing of possible financial losses, sums collected under such a provision are not "benefits" which could be considered "wages" under subsection (3) of this section. Waite v. A. S. Battiato Co., 238 Neb. 151, 469 N.W.2d 766 (1991).
An employee's share of the profits of his employer under a profit-sharing plan can be wages within the meaning of subsection (3) of this section. Suess v. Lee Sapp Leasing, 229 Neb. 755, 428 N.W.2d 899 (1988).
Subdivision (4) of this section provides that the term "wages" includes orders on file with the employer at the time of termination of employment. Thus, an employment agreement policy which clearly conflicts with such definition of wages, even though said policy is common within the industry, is void because it is prohibited by the Nebraska Wage Payment and Collection Act. Sanford v. Clear Channel Broadcasting, 14 Neb. App. 908, 719 N.W.2d 312 (2006).
Overtime wages can be claimed under the Nebraska Wage Payment and Collection Act only if those overtime wages were previously agreed to by the employer and the employee. Nonetheless, even in the absence of a previous agreement concerning overtime compensation, compensation for overtime can be claimed under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act for hours worked in excess of 40 during a given week. Freeman v. Central States Health & Life Co., 2 Neb. App. 803, 515 N.W.2d 131 (1994).
The Nebraska Wage Payment and Collection Act does not represent a very clear mandate of public policy which would warrant recognition of an exception to the employment-at-will doctrine. Malone v. American Bus. Info., 262 Neb. 733, 634 N.W.2d 788 (2001).
Statutory definitions applied to facts to reach conclusion that route salesman is an employee within the meaning of the Nebraska Wage Payment and Collection Act. Rudolf v. Tombstone Pizza Corp., 214 Neb. 276, 333 N.W.2d 673 (1983).
District court erred in finding that plaintiffs were not employees under the definition provided by this section. Tracy v. Tracy, 7 Neb. App. 143, 581 N.W.2d 96 (1998).