State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Nebraska > Chapter48 > 48-1231

48-1231. Employee; claimfor wages; suit; judgment; costs and attorney's fees; failure to furnish itemized statement; penalty.(1) Anemployee having a claim for wages which are not paid within thirty days ofthe regular payday designated or agreed upon may institute suit for such unpaidwages in the proper court. If an employee establishes a claim and securesjudgment on the claim, such employee shall be entitled to recover (a) the full amount of the judgment and allcosts of such suit and (b) if such employee has employedan attorney in the case, an amount for attorney's fees assessed by the court,which fees shall not be less than twenty-five percent of the unpaid wages.If the cause is taken to an appellate court and the plaintiff recovers a judgment,the appellate court shall tax as costs in the action, to be paid to the plaintiff,an additional amount for attorney's fees in such appellate court, which feesshall not be less than twenty-five percent of the unpaid wages. If the employeefails to recover a judgment in excess of the amount that may have been tenderedwithin thirty days of the regular payday by an employer, such employee shallnot recover the attorney's fees provided by this section. If the court findsthat no reasonable dispute existed as to the fact that wages were owed oras to the amount of such wages, the court may order the employee to pay theemployer's attorney's fees and costs of the action as assessed by the court.(2) An employerwho fails to furnish an itemized statement requested by an employee undersubsection (2) of section 48-1230 shall be guilty of an infraction as definedin section 29-431 and shall be subject to a fine pursuant to section 29-436. SourceLaws 1977, LB 220A, § 4; Laws 1991, LB 311, § 2; Laws 2010, LB884, § 3.AnnotationsA party has no viable claim to a wage that has not yet been received. Law Offices of Ronald J. Palagi v. Howard, 275 Neb. 334, 747 N.W.2d 1 (2008).In a wage claim brought under section 15-841 against a city of the primary class, there is nothing in the plain language of this section that requires an employee to plead a specific cause of action for attorney fees or to file a separate proceeding for attorney fees in order to receive an award of attorney fees under the Nebraska Wage Payment and Collection Act. Rauscher v. City of Lincoln, 269 Neb. 267, 691 N.W.2d 844 (2005).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).Employers will not be awarded attorney fees under the Nebraska Wage Payment and Collection Act if the employer has not tendered an amount to the employee within 30 days of the employee's regular payday. Brockley v. Lozier Corp., 241 Neb. 449, 488 N.W.2d 556 (1992).Unpaid wages means wages which are not paid within 30 days of the regular payday designated or agreed upon. Polly v. Ray D. Hilderman & Co., 225 Neb. 662, 407 N.W.2d 751 (1987).