North Carolina Wage and Hour Act Changes Add New Employer Requirements

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On July 8, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed into law a number of changes to the way employers in that state establish pay at the beginning of the employment relationship, make changes in pay during employment, and provide final wages at its end. The changes take immediate effect, although the North Carolina Department of Labor has not issued accompanying regulations.

The new law makes three important changes to North Carolina’s wage payment laws:

  1. Employers must provide employees with written notice of their wage rate, pay day, and place of payment (i.e., direct deposit) at the outset of employment. Under the prior law, this notice could be oral.
  2. During employment, notice of any decrease in wages must be provided in writing to employee at least one pay period before they take effect. Under the prior law, the notice period was only 24 hours. There is no advance notice requirement for increasing wages.
  3. At the end of employment, final wages must be paid by the method previously elected by the employee (i.e., direct deposit) unless the employee has requested in writing issuance of a “live” check. If requested, the check must be mailed using a system that allows its tracking. The final paycheck must still be provided by the next regularly scheduled pay date.

Employers should advise their payroll personnel of these important new requirements.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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