Payment of Wages

Section 275:51

    275:51 Enforcement. –
I. The commissioner shall enforce and administer the provisions of this subdivision and the commissioner or the commissioner's authorized representatives are empowered, on his or her own motion or on an employee complaint, to hold hearings and otherwise to investigate charges of violations of this subdivision and to institute actions for penalties hereunder, and to entertain and adjudicate claims for wages due under the provisions of this subdivision.
II. The commissioner or his authorized representatives are empowered to enter and inspect such places, question such employees, and investigate such facts, conditions, or matters as they may deem appropriate, to determine whether any person has violated any provision of this subdivision or any rule or regulation issued hereunder or which may aid in the enforcement of the provisions of this subdivision.
III. The commissioner or his authorized representatives shall have power to administer oaths and examine witnesses under oath, issue subpoenas, compel the attendance of witnesses, and the production of papers, books, accounts, records, payrolls, documents, and testimony, and to take depositions and affidavits in any proceeding before said commissioner.
III-a. Records compiled pursuant to employee interviews under paragraphs II and III are not subject to disclosure by the department. The commissioner may release such information to public officials when such information is necessary to perform their duties. If the commissioner determines that a person or employer has violated any provision of this subdivision or any rule adopted under this subdivision, that person or employer shall be provided with a report specifying the statute and rules that have been violated and a summary of supporting evidence.
IV. In case of failure of any person to comply with any subpoena lawfully issued, or on the refusal of any witness to testify to any matter regarding which he may be lawfully interrogated, it shall be the duty of the municipal or district court, on application by the commissioner, to compel obedience by attachment proceedings for contempt, as in the case of disobedience of the requirements of a subpoena issued from such court or a refusal to testify therein.
V. A wage claim may be filed by an employee or by the department on its own motion no later than 36 months from the date the wages were due. The commissioner shall notify the employer by serving upon the employer a copy of such claim and an order to file with the commissioner within 10 days from the receipt of such notice any objections to such claim specifying the grounds therefor. Service may be by certified mail with return receipt. If objection is not made within 10 days, the commissioner may order that payment be made in accordance with the claim. If requested, a hearing shall be afforded at which time any party may appear, with counsel if desired, and present evidence and cross-examine opposing witnesses. Any party, at the party's own expense, may cause a record to be made of the hearing. A written decision shall be made within 30 days after the hearing stating the decision and specifying the facts and conclusions upon which the decision is based. If wages are found to be due, an order for payment shall issue. Any party aggrieved by the decision may appeal to the superior court not later than 20 days from the date thereof by petition, setting forth that the decision is erroneous, in whole or in part, and specifying the grounds upon which the decision is claimed to be in error. Upon the filing of an appeal, the commissioner shall transfer to the court the record of the proceeding or a certified copy thereof. The scope of review by the superior court shall be limited to questions of law. After hearing and upon consideration of the record, the court may affirm, vacate or modify in whole or in part the decision of the commissioner, or may remand the matter to the commissioner for further findings. In the absence of a seasonable appeal, the decision and order shall be final, shall be entered upon the docket of the superior court at the request of the prevailing party, may be enforced as a judgment of the court, and shall be a lien upon the property of the employer situated in the state for a period of 3 years from the time of the decision. It is a requirement of this chapter for purposes of RSA 275:52 that a final order be immediately satisfied by the employer.

Source. 1963, 237:4. 1975, 355:4-6. 1977, 133:1. 1995, 140:1. 1997, 226:4. 2005, 241:1, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2006.