North Carolina Payroll Laws (2024 Guide For Employers)

What do you know about North Carolina payroll laws?

Straight off the bat, here are a few key points:

Both employers and employees in North Carolina must fully understand the intricacies of payroll and labor laws, given their complexity.

Despite the sheer amount of information, it is of utmost importance to fully grasp and adhere to these fundamental regulations.

Without wasting any time, let’s dive right in.

Disclaimer: Despite our best efforts to provide you with accurate information on this topic at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content at the time of reading. This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult an attorney for specific guidance on North Carolina payroll laws.

Minimum Wage in North Carolina

The minimum wage is a key aspect of employment law, setting the lowest hourly wage rate that employers can legally pay their employees.

In North Carolina, the minimum wage is currently set at $7.25 per hour, the same as the federal minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Employers must pay their employees at least the minimum wage for every hour worked, with some exceptions and exemptions for certain types of employees, such as tipped employees and minors.

Tipped Employees & Tip Pooling in North Carolina

In North Carolina, tipped employees are those who customarily and regularly receive more than $30 per month in tips.

Employers can pay these employees a lower cash wage of at least $2.13 per hour, as long as the tips combined with the cash wage equal or exceed the minimum wage.

Employers are also allowed to implement tip pooling arrangements, where tips are collected and redistributed among tipped employees, as long as each employee still receives the required minimum wage when their tips and cash wage are combined.

Employment Law & Employee Rights in North Carolina

Employees in North Carolina have certain rights and protections under state and federal law.

The North Carolina Wage and Hour Act (NCWHA) and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provide the primary framework for employee rights in areas such as promised wages, wage rates, wage payment, and overtime pay.

Other laws, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Workers’ Compensation Act, offer additional protections for employees facing specific circumstances, like medical issues or workplace injuries.

Child Labor & Youth Employment in North Carolina

North Carolina has specific laws governing the employment of minors, or individuals under 18 years of age.

These laws, known as child labor laws, are designed to protect young workers and ensure they have the opportunity for education and safe working conditions.

In general, minors aged 14-15 may work limited hours outside of school hours, while those aged 16-17 may work unlimited hours in non-hazardous occupations.

There are exceptions for younger children working in certain industries or in family businesses.

Paycheck Laws in North Carolina

In North Carolina, employers must pay their employees at least once every month or two times per month, depending on whether the employee is classified as “exempt” or “non-exempt.”

Employers may also pay employees on a more frequent basis, such as weekly or bi-weekly.

The pay period must be designated in advance, and employees must receive their wages on the designated payday.

If an employee quits or is terminated, the employer must pay the employee’s final wages on or before the next regular payday.

Employers cannot withhold an employee’s paycheck for any reason, unless they have a written authorization from the employee or a court order.

Overtime Pay in North Carolina

Under both North Carolina and federal law, non-exempt employees must receive overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for any hours worked over 40 in a single workweek.

There are certain exemptions for specific types of employees, such as agricultural workers and those in certain professional or managerial positions.

Meal Breaks, Rest Breaks, & Other Time Off in North Carolina

In North Carolina, employers are not required to provide paid vacation time, sick leave, or paid holidays.

However, employers may choose to offer these benefits as part of their compensation packages.

If an employer has an established policy or practice of providing vacation pay, they must comply with their own policy.

North Carolina law does not require employers to provide meal breaks or rest breaks for adult employees, but they must provide minors aged 14 to 17 with a 30-minute break after five consecutive hours of work.

Federal law also does not mandate meal breaks or rest breaks, but if an employer chooses to provide them, breaks lasting less than 20 minutes must be paid.

Jury Duty & Other Leave Protections in North Carolina

Employers in North Carolina are required to provide unpaid leave for employees serving jury duty.

They cannot discharge, threaten, or demote an employee because of their jury service.

Employees must be allowed to return to their jobs after completing their jury duty.

In addition to jury duty, North Carolina has several other leave protections for employees, such as leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

This federal law provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for certain family and medical reasons, such as the birth of a child or a serious health condition.

Wage Law & Employee Rights in North Carolina

Wage law in North Carolina, as in other states, aims to protect employees and ensure fair compensation for their work.

Both state and federal laws regulate various aspects of how an employee works, such as hours, breaks, and overtime.

It is essential for employees and private employers to understand these regulations to ensure compliance and protect employee’s wages.

Local Government & Anti-Discrimination Laws in North Carolina

Local government in North Carolina also plays a role in regulating employment practices.

Some cities and counties have enacted anti-discrimination ordinances to protect employees from discrimination based on factors such as race, gender, religion, and national origin.

Employers must ensure they are in compliance with both state and local laws when it comes to equal employment opportunity.

Recordkeeping Requirements in North Carolina

Employers in North Carolina must comply with both state and federal recordkeeping requirements.

Under the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act, employers must maintain records of employee wages, hours worked, and other information for at least three years.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) also requires employers to keep records of specific information for non-exempt employees, such as overtime hours worked and regular hourly pay rates.

Final Paycheck & Payment Frequency in North Carolina

As mentioned earlier, the final paycheck for an employee who quits or is terminated must be paid on or before the next regular payday.

Employers in North Carolina must also establish a regular pay schedule, with non-exempt employees being paid at least semi-monthly and exempt employees being paid at least once per month.

However, employers can choose to pay employees more frequently, such as weekly or bi-weekly.

North Carolina Payroll Laws (Closing Thoughts)

This article aims to offer a basic comprehension of North Carolina’s employment and payroll laws.

It’s essential that both employers and employees grasp these rules in order to prevent and address potential problems in the workplace.

Disclaimer: Not Legal Advice

This blog post provides a general overview of North Carolina labor laws but does not constitute legal advice.

Laws and regulations are subject to change, and there may be additional requirements or exemptions that apply to specific situations.

Employers and employees should consult a qualified labor law attorney for advice on their specific circumstances.

If you have any questions about your rights or obligations as an employer or employee in North Carolina, it is essential to consult with a labor law attorney to receive accurate information and guidance tailored to your situation.

By seeking professional legal advice, you can ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps to comply with labor laws and protect your rights.

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