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North Carolina Pay Day Requirements

In North Carolina, federal and state laws govern pay day requirements. The major federal law governing wages and hours is called the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). It regulates how much workers must be paid, how many hours they can be required to work, and the special rules that apply to younger workers.

The FLSA applies to most employers, including the federal government, state and local governments, schools, and virtually all private employers.

Here, we will focus on the state law called the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act, including pay day requirements (frequency and manner), minimum wages and overtime pay.

Pay Day Requirements: How Often

North Carolina employers have a few options when it comes to how often to pay their employees: one (1) time per month, two (2) times per month, every two (2) weeks, every week, or more frequently.

Method of Payment

Wages may be paid in cash or check. Employers can also pay by direct deposit or issue a "payroll debit card" to an employee -- a stored value debit card that provides an employee access to his or her wages, for withdrawal or transfer by the employee, through a network of automatic teller machines. There are two stipulations:

1) The employee can withdraw all monies due on payday; and

2) One-time use of the card by the employee on payday is at no cost to the employee.

What is the Minimum Wage in North Carolina?

The minimum wage for employees in North Carolina is $7.25 per hour.

When is a North Carolina Employee Entitled to Overtime Pay?

If an eligible employee works more than 40 hours in a single week, he or she will be entitled to 1 1/2 times their hourly pay rate. Certain workers are extempt from receiving overtime pay such as executives receiving a salary or elected officials.

See Fair Wages FAQ, Exempt Employees, and Employees Rights 101 the for more information.

Code Sections

Wage and Hours in the Workplace:

1) Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

2) North Carolina Wage and Hour Act

Pay Day Requirements

Employers are free to establish weekly, biweekly, or monthly paydays, but must adhere to the schedule once it has been established.

Method of Payment

Cash, Check and Direct Deposit or Payroll Debit Card.

Minimum Wage

Hourly Employees: $7.25 per hour

Overtime Pay If employee works more than 40 hour per week: 1 1/2 times hourly rate.
Employers Who Must Follow Minimum Wage Laws

Applies to all businesses doing business in North Carolina

Workers Not Covered Under State Minimum Wage Law
  • Agricultural
  • Domestic employees

These employees are subject to the federal minimum wage.


North Carolina Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Bureau, 1-800-625-2267.

North Carolina employment laws are constantly changing. Please consider contacting a local North Carolina employment lawyer who can help you better understand the current North Carolina laws.

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