Changes to North Carolina Wage and Hour Law Effective July 8, 2021 | Smith Anderson

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Newly revisions adopted to the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act (NCWHA) may affect how employers approach certain payroll practices. Effective July 8, 2021, employers must provide written notification of promised wages and provide longer notice before making changes to promised wages. Separated employees must submit a request in writing if they want their final paycheck mailed to them, and the paycheck must be sent by traceable mail.

At the time of hiring, written notification is required of the promised salary and the day and place of payment. NCWHA revisions amended North Carolina General Statute §95-25.13(1) by removing the word “orally”, so an employer no longer has the ability to orally inform employees of the promised salary and the day and place of salary payment and must make the required notification in writing at the time of hiring. The law does not require any particular form of notice and the current regulation (13 NCAC 12.0804) states that “an employee’s signature on an employer’s written notice of promised salary that bears the date on which the employee received the notice shall be presumptive evidence of the employer’s notice.

Any salary change requires written notice at least one pay period in advance. The revisions increased the length of the notice period required for any promised salary change from “at least 24 hours” to “at least one pay period” (NCGS §95-25.13(3)). However, the law continues to provide that wages may be “retroactively increased without notice”, thus the change is most significant for notice of any reduction in wages.

Final payment for terminated employees can be made through “regular payment channels or trackable mail”. The revisions also changed the portion of North Carolina General Bylaws §95-25.7 that deals with final pay for separated employees by providing that separated employees will receive all wages due no later than the next regular payday “either by the regular compensation channels, either through traceable mail if requested by the employee in writing(emphasis added). Previously, the final paycheck could be mailed if the employee requested it. Now the request must be made by the employee in writing and the mail must be traceable.

Employers must confirm that their payroll practices comply with recently enacted revisions to North Carolina’s wage and hour law.

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