North Carolina Modifies Requirements Governing Pay Notice And Final Wages For Separated Employees – Employment and HR

Antonio G Ginting


United States:

North Carolina Modifies Requirements Governing Pay Notice And Final Wages For Separated Employees


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On July 8, 2021, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed
Senate Bill (SB) 208, An Act Making Various Changes to the Labor Laws of
North Carolina
, which includes changes to the pay notice
provisions for employees and payment of final wages to separated
employees. The amendments to the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act
(NCWHA) (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 95-25.1 et seq.) include changes to
the employer-provided notice to employees concerning compensation
at both the outset of employment and prior to any reduction in pay.
SB 208 takes effect immediately.

Notice Provisions

With regard to the requisite notice at the outset of employment,
SB 208 provides that North Carolina employers must now provide
written notice to employees at the time of hire
stating:

  • the promised wages; and

  • the day and location for payment of wages if delivering payment
    in person or the method of payment if using a different form (e.g.,
    direct deposit or mail).

Prior to the recent amendment, employers could satisfy the
initial pay notice requirements to employees by verbal
communication. Following the amendment, employers may want to
maintain documentation of the written notice to employees of their
pay.

SB 208 also requires employers to provide employees with written
notice “at least one pay period prior to any changes in
promised wages.” North Carolina employers previously could
notify employees of any changes to their pay with 24 hours’
written notice.

Payment to Separated Employees

Further, SB 208 addresses payment to employees upon separation
from employment. The new law requires an employer to pay final
wages through the regular payroll method used by the employer,
unless the employee makes a written request for a live check to be
sent by trackable mail.

Penalties

Finally, SB 208 changes the civil penalties that employers may
face for violations of the NCWHA’s recordkeeping requirements.
The amended NCWHA states employers “shall be subject to a
civil penalty of up to two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) per
employee with the maximum not to exceed two thousand dollars
($2,000) per violation.” (Emphasis added.) Prior to
the amendment, the NCWHA authorized a maximum civil penalty of
$2,000 per investigation.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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