Minimum wage and overtime
Workers with concerns about receiving the proper wages or overtime pay may have protections available to them. Federal law establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. North Carolina law provides similar protections as well.
It is important to note that some or all of these protective measures do not apply to certain employees. It is important to consult an attorney with any questions you have about wages or hours in the workplace.
What is the minimum wage? And what if I get tips?
Most workers are entitled to a minimum wage of not less than $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. The minimum wage does not apply to everyone though. For example, employees who receive tips as part of their compensation are not guaranteed the same minimum wage. These employees may receive as little as $2.13 per hour so long as the employee receives enough in tips to make up the difference. Employees must receive all their tips, but pooling of tips is allowed if no one’s tips are reduced more than 15 percent.
What are the overtime rules?
Under both the federal and North Carolina state laws, overtime pay is available for certain workers for hours worked over 40 per workweek. The rate of pay for hours worked past the 40 per work week is one and one-half times the regular hourly rate of pay. However, the federal law does not require overtime pay for work on weekends, holidays, or regular days of rest, unless overtime is worked on such days.
There is no limit on the number of hours that employees 16 years or older may work in any workweek.
Protecting children in the workplace
Both the federal and North Carolina state laws also have provisions limiting the types of work, number of hours, and shifts that children can work. The purpose is to protect the educational opportunities of minors and keep them from work that is bad for their health or well-being.
The employer must display on an official poster in a conspicuous place (such as a break room) that states the requirements of both the federal and state laws.
In addition, employers must maintain employee time and pay records along with certain other information pertaining to the employee.
What if I think I’m not being paid minimum wage or overtime?
If you have questions about whether you are being paid the correct minimum wage, or if you have questions about how overtime is being figured then consult an attorney. This is the best way to make sure you have the full amount of pay you deserve.