Your business idea turned into reality and you’re ready to grow your company. If you have a business in Nebraska and are looking to bring on new workers, you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed with all the onboarding compliance tasks. But we are here to help with this 2023 hiring guide. Check out the seven tips below for hiring employees in Nebraska.
1. Satisfy state and federal requirements for Nebraska employers
If you have a new business, there are some requirements you must meet before hiring even one employee. First, have you registered your business with the Nebraska Department of Revenue? If not, securing a Nebraska tax ID is your first step.
You will also need a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). This nine-digit number is unique to your business and it’s required for many essential business tasks, such as opening a business bank account and filing tax returns.
You’ll also need a FEIN to apply for business licenses and permits. Many cities in Nebraska require a business license, as well as building and zoning permits, depending on the location, industry, and type of work.
Additionally, both federal and Nebraska laws indicate that employers must display specific employment posters in areas visible to all employees, such as in a break room. Employers can download and print those posters from the Nebraska Department of Labor.
In Nebraska, every employer is required to hold workers’ compensation insurance. You can make sure your business is covered by working with NEXT Insurance through Gusto for your workers’ compensation needs.
2. Understand the rights of Nebraska employees
Nebraska state labor laws include a range of protections for employees, from minimum wage to child labor laws—to name just a couple. Employers must educate themselves about these laws and ensure compliance.
Regarding the minimum wage, Nebraska employers must pay a minimum of $10.50 per hour. They must also continue to pay employees while on jury duty, and provide them with up to two hours of paid leave time to vote. When an employee leaves a job, employers are required to pay them for unused vacation days and paid time off with their final paycheck.
Employment of minors is only permissible within certain parameters. Minors may only work during specific hours, the number of hours per week is limited, the nature of the work may not be harmful to the child’s health or safety—and the nature of the work must be not be immoral.
The state’s Equal Opportunity Commission enforces the Nebraska Fair Employment Practices Act (NFEPA), which prohibits “Discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), disability, marital status or age…”
Because Nebraska is an at-will employment state, both employers and employees have the right to terminate employment at any time—unless a legally binding employment contract stipulates something other than at-will employment. It’s also critical to understand that at-will employment does not allow an employer to terminate a person’s employment for an unlawful reason. For instance, employers may not terminate employment based on an employee’s membership (or perceived membership) in a protected class or in retaliation if an employee was a whistleblower. It’s a good idea to seek counsel from an employment attorney if you’re considering terminating someone’s employment.
3. Make sure your business is ready to start the hiring process
Before starting your search, map out the needs you are looking to fill, the skills and abilities that are required, whether it’s a full-time or part-time need, and how much you can afford to pay in wages.
Additionally, consider what benefits and perks your business can offer to employees. Health insurance, a 401(k) plan, and paid time off probably come to mind instantly. But lifestyle benefits, such as flexible scheduling and childcare, are becoming increasingly important. Learn more about the types of employee benefits on our blog, and consider working with Gusto to provide benefits that will attract and retain top talent.
Next, create a job description that clearly articulates the tasks and responsibilities, as well as the company’s benefits and other perks. Remember to let some personality show!
Once your job and company description are ready to go, create a plan to reach candidates. Working with a recruiter is one way to accomplish this task, but you can also leverage job boards, social media platforms, and your professional network—including enlisting the help of current employees.
4. Consider hiring a remote employee
If the work doesn’t need to be done on-site, you can widen your pool of candidates by considering remote employees. Thanks to the accessibility and convenience of advanced technology, employees are no longer limited to local opportunities and employers can extend their reach to find quality candidates. The option for remote work can also help you retain a current employee who is looking to move to a different location.
One thing to keep in mind with remote workers is that you may need to meet the employment law requirements of the state and municipality in which the employee resides. Violating labor laws can come with a hefty penalty, so do your homework.
5. Find an employee who will fit in with your company culture
When you’re ready to interview, be sure to assess for skills and culture fit. Communicating your company culture is an important part of the hiring process for your Nebraska business. A new hire will most likely be a short-term solution if they don’t fit in with your culture.
Start with a brief phone call before an in-person interview, provide relevant skill assessments, check in with their references, and provide opportunities for top candidates to engage with potential team members.
6. Ensure legal documents are submitted
All new employees and their employers must complete an Employee Eligibility Verification form, or Form I-9, which verifies the employee’s identity and authorizes them to work in the United States. Both U.S. citizens and non-citizens must complete the form. The form is not submitted, but rather the employer keeps it on file for either three years after the employee’s date of hire or one year after termination—whichever comes last.
The next step is satisfying Nebraska new hire reporting requirements. Every new hire must be reported to the Nebraska State Directory of New Hires within 20 days of employment. This information, which includes the employee’s Social Security number, phone number, and additional information, is used to collect child support and to help prevent fraud in the areas of welfare, workers’ compensation, and unemployment insurance.
7. Learn how to set up payroll in Nebraska
An important form for payroll setup is the Withholding Allowance Certificate or Form W-4. The information from this form is essential for income tax withholding. You’ll refer to this form to find out how much federal income tax should be withheld from your employee’s wages. If you have an employee without a W-4 form on file, proceed with withholding as though they have claimed zero exemptions.
There are many other details that go into payroll besides wages and taxes. Check out Gusto’s payroll and paycheck calculator for more information about requirements for hourly and salary employees in Nebraska. You can also take advantage of Gusto’s hiring and onboarding software to help simplify the process and get your new hires on the clock faster.