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As a worker in the state of North Carolina, it is important to know your rights and potential remedies in the case that an employer violates those rights. The Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, is a federal law concerning the workplace standards required of private and public employers. A law first enacted in 1938, it covers such topics as minimum wage, overtime rules, and the prohibition of sex discrimination.  

As a federal law, North Carolina employers are required to follow its provisions as a minimum standard. Many states have chosen to expand upon the minimum protections provided by the federal law. However, North Carolina is not one of them.  

The federal baseline regarding rules concerning minimum wage and overtime pay still applies. A violation of these rules is still a violation of the law. A Chapel Hill FLSA lawyer can work with people whose rights as workers have been violated and pursue the appropriate remedy. Contact an experienced attorney that can advocate for you right away.

North Carolina Employment Law

North Carolina Statutes Chapter 95 contains all of North Carolina’s laws concerning labor and labor relations. Perhaps the most commonly cited of these rules are Article 2A 95-25.3-3 on Minimum Wage, and Article 2A 95-25.4-4 on over time.  

The minimum wage law in North Carolina is written in an interesting way. It states that the minimum wage for hourly workers is $6.15 per hour, but a quick reading of the federal laws will reveal that this is actually below the federally mandated minimum wage. 

North Carolina law compensates for that by saying that the minimum wage will be $6.15 per hour or the minimum wage set forth by the FLSA, whichever is higher. In this way, the North Carolina minimum wage will never be greater than the federal minimum of $7.25. There are exceptions to this limit, however, as commissioned sales people, restaurant servers, and professional workers are not required to be paid the $7.25 minimum. A Chapel Hill FLSA lawyer can explain the specifics of North Carolina employment law.

Overtime Pay

Another area covered by the FLSA is overtime pay. Once again, North Carolina laws are set at the federal minimum. Overtime is only required for hourly workers who work more than 40 hours per week. This rate is to be paid at 1.5x the normal pay rate. Unlike some states, there is no 1.5x rate mandated for Sundays or holiday work.

What Remedies are Available for Violations of these Laws

If someone believes that their wages have been unfairly withheld or that overtime was not properly paid, they have a civil right of action. North Carolina Statute 95-25.22-22 allows plaintiffs to file suit in court for damages arising from unpaid wages. Specifically, a plaintiff may recover: 

  • Unpaid wages
  • Unpaid overtime compensation
  • Interest on those unpaid wages
  • Up to double liquidated damages of the original amount of pay not received
  • Reasonable attorney’s fees 

It is important to take note of the statute of limitations for these actions. This is simply a time limit within which the case must be filed at the court. North Carolina Statute 95-25.22-22 gives plaintiffs two years. 

Talk to a Chapel Hill FLSA Attorney

It takes a lot of courage to file a claim alleging that an employer has not properly paid your wages. People often fear retaliatory action from their employer if they speak up or complain to the government. Thankfully, North Carolina makes this sort of retaliation illegal under the Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act. Regardless, making the decision to stand up for yourself can be difficult.  

A Chapel Hill FLSA lawyer is here to stand by your side. By listening to your side of the story with patience and compassion, and investigating the wage abuse, they are with you every step of the way. Contact an FLSA attorney today to see how they can help you get the fair wages that you have earned.