It’s Business, And It’s Personal

Employees may band together to collect unpaid wages

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2021 | Employment Law |

It would seem like North Carolina employers know that they have to pay their employees.

While in today’s social climate most Fayetteville employers would not flat out refuse to pay their employees, too many employers engage in subtle schemes and slights of hand to avoid paying their employees all the wages to which North Carolina law entitles them.

For example, employers may misclassify their employees as independent contractors and the claim that they may pay these workers to what amounts to less than the state’s hourly minimum wage.

In other cases, an employer may pay an employee a flat salary and then declare the employee exempt from receiving overtime payment. The end result is that the employee may wind up working for far less than the state minimum wage.

While some salaried employees are not entitled to overtime, the employer must show that their employee can legally be exempt from receiving it. Paying a flat salary is not enough to prove this.

Workers are entitled to damages for underpaid wages or overtime

No matter the reason, employers who fail to pay their employees their wages when due must pay them back with interest.

Additionally, in most cases, the law allows North Carolina courts to award additional compensation at the rate of 100% of the unpaid wages, effectively doubling an employee’s compensation.

The courts may also require the employer to reimburse an employee’s attorney fees and other costs and expenses.

Still, sometimes an employee’s claim may simply be too small to get an employer, particularly a mid-sized or larger company, to take the matter as seriously as the employer should. In such cases, it may make sense for the employees to seek legal assistance and pursue a class action lawsuit.