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NORTH CAROLINA EMPLOYMENT LAW

Employment Law (known also as Labor Law) encompasses all facets of the relationship between an employer and his employees, such as sexual harassment, wages and hours, discrimination on-the-job, health and safety, termination and hiring, and disability law. North Carolina employment law complaints and cases are managed by the North Carolina Department of Labor.

Because of their complexity, it is crucial that issues such as discrimination at the workplace, sexual harassment, and/or wrongful termination be managed by a North Carolina employment attorney. These types of cases require the widespread compilation of evidence, and in depth investigation, both of which a North Carolina employment lawyer can assist you with; but, bear in mind that it is useful to have a North Carolina employment attorney at your side, regardless of your kind of employment case, to answer questions.

Why Hire A North Carolina Employment Attorney?

Wrongful termination and employment law cases in North Carolina often involve the intermingling of federal and state laws, which can be confusing, and must be meticulously investigated and aggressively argued in order for them to be successful. Because this is the case, a North Carolina employment lawyer can be useful to structure and assert a discrimination case, argue your claim for wrongful termination, complete and submit your claim for wages, and help you decide whether your claim is worth pursuing, or will just end up costing you valuable time and money.

In particular, wrongful termination claims may be difficult for a past employee, because they involve him having to deal with his former employer. For assistance in communicating with your previous employer, and for a recommendation on the best means of obtaining recovery, a North Carolina wrongful termination attorney can be very useful.

If you seek to file a complaint with the North Carolina Department of Labor, it is recommended that you hire a North Carolina employment attorney to clarify your rights, answer your questions, and help you with the process.

Wrongful Termination In North Carolina

Like most other states, employment in North Carolina is "at will," meaning that a worker is free to leave his job whenever he desires, for whatever reason or no reason at all. Similarly, an employer may terminate a worker for any legal reason. However, if an employee has a contract that specifies particular reasons for termination, the employee can only be fired for the reasons included in the contract.

A North Carolina employee may file a wrongful termination (or wrongful discharge) claim if the reason for his termination is discriminatory or illegal. It is illegal for an employer to terminate a worker in North Carolina for:

  1. filing a safety or discrimination claim (retaliation)
  2. taking unpaid medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  3. refusing to break the law
  4. discriminatory reasons

Discuss your case with a North Carolina wrongful termination lawyer if you have questions about filing a wrongful termination case, or are confused about how to go about doing so.

An employee in North Carolina has been wrongfully terminated if he is fired because of discriminatory reasons—firing based on discriminatory factors is forbidden by both North Carolina State Law and federal law. If for example, someone is not hired, or is terminated from work because of his age (over 40) or disability, or for being pregnant (if the pregnancy is viewed as a disability), this is considered wrongful termination. Race, sex, religion, and national origin are other discriminatory factors and grounds for a wrongful termination case if they are the basis for the termination. Do not hesitate to contact a North Carolina wrongful termination lawyer if you believe you have a wrongful termination case and want a triumphant result.

Employee Wage/Hour Concerns In North Carolina

Employees in North Carolina must be paid the state minimum wage, which is $7.25 per hour. If your boss fails to pay you on time, it would be beneficial to contact a North Carolina employment attorney about filing a complaint for unpaid wages with the North Carolina Department of Labor. To file a wage complaint in North Carolina, you must telephone the North Carolina Department of Labor or speak with an employment attorney.

North Carolina State Law concerning overtime parallels the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Working overtime according to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act is when someone works more than 40 hours per week. All overtime hours entitle a worker to time and a half-pay under the FLSA. This amount of pay is enforced by the United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division. Discuss your claim for overtime wages that have not been paid with a North Carolina employment attorney, who can assist you with submitting a claim to the North Carolina Department of Labor.

North Carolina Employment Benefits

North Carolina employers do not have to observe legal holidays, or give you paid vacation days, life insurance, sick leave, or medical benefits, nor are meal or rest breaks required under North Carolina employment law. However, if an employee is under age 16, a 30 minute break after 5 hours of work is mandated by state law. Maternity and short term disability leave are not required under North Carolina disability law, though 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave is mandated by federal law in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Workers injured at work or in accidents connected to work may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits in North Carolina. The amount of the compensation varies depending on the classification of the injury or illness. But, remember, that North Carolina disability law does not provide compensation or benefits for workers whose disabilities do not arise from their jobs.

Speak to a North Carolina workers' compensation attorney if you believe you are entitled to compensation for your occupational injury or disease, or to an employment lawyer if you have questions about, or do not understand how federal laws and North Carolina laws act together to form the basis of North Carolina employment law.

North Carolina Employment and Labor Law Statutes

North Carolina General Statutes

  1. Wage Payment
    • N.C. Gen. Stat. Chp. 95, Art. 2A, § 25.6.
  2. Minimum Wage
    • N.C. Gen. Stat. Chp. 95, Art. 2A, § 25.3.
  3. Youth Employment
    • N.C. Gen Stat. Chp. 95, Art. 2A §25.5.
  4. Wrongful Termination
    • Follows the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
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