The United States has federal regulations that determine what the laws are for paycheck distribution to employees. These federal laws are in place to protect employees from unfair practices. States can devise their own additional regulations as long as they do not violate federal laws.
North Carolina requires that employees be paid regularly. Payday must be preset, but it can be every week, every day, a few times a week, a few times a month, or monthly. Pay that is not wages such as bonuses or commissions can be paid annually or more often as the employee sees fit.
North Carolina employers do not have to pay terminated employee immediately. They can wait until the next scheduled pay period to deliver final wages to the terminated employee. Unlike some states, this applies in all situations including when an employee voluntarily quits or refuses to work due to a labor dispute.
Any owed bonuses or commissions must also be paid out by the next regular pay period. Terminated employees must be paid the full owed amount of commission or bonus.
In North Carolina, a paycheck can be garnished when law requires it. If you owe money such as child support, civil penalties, taxes, or defaulted loans, then your paycheck can be garnished if a judge decides that. So any party that wishes to garnish the employee’s wages must go to court and ask for a formal judicial order.
An employer may withhold or deduct from an employee’s wages, after informing the employee in a writing and 7 days before the deduction. But, if the employee was fired, the employer does not need to give notice to deduct for:
- Cash shortage;
- Inventory shortage; or
- Loss/damage to work property
An employer is also allowed to withhold or deduct from an employee’s paycheck when allowed by federal law or if the employee agrees to it before the deduction. However, an employer cannot deduct an employee’s paycheck to the point where it will pay the employee less than the minimum wage.
Remedies for withheld paychecks must be filed in civil court. A lawyer can help you make a good case to recover your withheld paycheck. A wage claim must be filed and an employment lawyer knows the best way to fill out these forms and file the claim on your behalf.
If you think your paycheck was you should contact a local North Carolina employment lawyer right away to find out what your options are.