North Carolina wage notification and pay practice changes

On July 8, 2021, Governor Roy Cooper signed into law amendments to North Carolina’s Wage and Hour Act. Effective immediately, these changes impact employer wage disclosure obligations at the time of hiring, as well as an employer’s payment obligations for separated employees at the time of termination.

Key points:

  • At the time of hiring, employers are required to notify each employee in writing of the promised wages and day and place for payment. This departs slightly from prior law which permitted oral or written notice.
  • In the event of any changes in promised wages, employers must notify an employee in writing at least one pay period prior. This departs from prior law which provided for a 24- hour notice period.
  • At the time of employee separation, employers are still required to pay all wages due on or before the next regular payday. This can be accomplished through regular pay channels, or if the employee requests in writing, may be done via trackable mail service. This departs slightly from prior law which provides that payment may be accomplished by mail at the employee’s request. The amendments require both a written request from the employee, and that the employer use a trackable mail service to confirm employee receipt.
  • Penalties for violations of the Wage and Hour Act record-keeping requirements are increased from $250-$2,000 per investigation to $250-$2,000 per violation. In determining the amount of the penalty, the same factors apply as under prior law including:The appropriateness of the penalty for the size of the business of the employer charged;The gravity of the violation; andWhether the violation involves and employee under the age of 18.
  • The appropriateness of the penalty for the size of the business of the employer charged;
  • The gravity of the violation; and
  • Whether the violation involves and employee under the age of 18.

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. Employers should closely monitor the rules and regulations specific to their jurisdiction(s) and should seek advice from counsel relative to their rights and responsibilities.

By Megan Butz
General Counsel, HR Compliance, Checkwriters
Megan joined Checkwriters in 2020 and is responsible for reviewing, revising, and implementing internal policies of the company, advising on human resource, employment, and labor matters, and monitoring and publishing state and federal legal updates to the Checkwriters News and Compliance Center for distribution to thousands of clients around the country. Before joining Checkwriters, Megan served as a judicial law clerk for the justices of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court performing legal research and writing, followed by private practice in Cape Cod.

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