Like other states, North Carolina has laws requiring employers to pay workers their wages and to do so promptly.
If employers fail to meet this obligation, then under the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act, an employee may file a lawsuit to recover their missing wages.
How much the employer will pay depends on their promises, federal law and the North Carolina law. A separate provision of the Wage and Hour Act requires the employer actually to pay these wages.
The requirement to pay applies even if an employer had no obligation to offer certain wages and benefits.
If, for example, the employer has promised vacation pay or overtime pay once an employee has worked more than eight hours in a day, then the employer must make good on these voluntary promises, whether or not doing so is required under the law.
In addition to ordering an employer to pay what is owed, the judge may also order the employer to pay double to the employee to compensate them for their time and trouble.
After all, no one should be forced to take their boss to work just to get paid what was promised.
An employer is allowed to try to convince the court to award less, but an employer will have to show that it did not intentionally withhold wages.
The employee also is entitled to a reasonable attorney fee and to interest.
It may be best for employees to band together to get compensation
It is a rare day when an employer will simply not agree to pay a person a worker any of their wages.
Oftentimes, wage and hour violations involve nickeling and diming workers, perhaps by not paying a promised benefit or by using techniques which lead to employees working off the clock or not getting overtime pay to which they are entitled.
In these sorts of cases, it might be better for Fayetteville employees to consider pursuing a class action lawsuit against their employer.