Most employers are familiar with the employee at-will doctrine. It allows an employer to teminate and employee at any time for any reason other than for a basis that violates state or federal law. Because of this rule, wrongful termination is a complex claim for ex-employees to prove in North Carolina. However – while employers generally can fire non-contract employees – they must still abide by proper measures of termination. Failure to abide by these procedures can expose employers to liability under the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act.
Following the NC Wage and Hour Act
Business owners in violation of the Wage and Hour Act expose themselves to the possibility of double damages. If they cannot show good faith in their violation of the Act , they could pay the employee’s attorney fees, costs, and potentially even personal liability on the part of the company owner.
North Carolina requires employers to pay terminated employees any outstanding wages promptly. Specifically, on or before their next regular payday, either through regular pay channels or by mail if requested by the employee. Any wages based on bonuses, commissions, or other calculation forms must be paid on the first regular payday after the amount becomes calculable. Essentially, if the employee is not paid any wages due and owing in full by the next pay period, they violate the Wage and Hour Act. If you are a small LLC running its own payroll, do not delay the employee’s last paycheck.
Representation for Terminated Employees
If you are an employer with employee wage issues, or an ex-employee awaiting their final paycheck, contact us today. Maginnis Howard is a Raleigh civil litigation firm with trial attorneys taking cases for terminated employees across North Carolina. Contact the firm at (919) 526-0450 or visit our contact page to schedule an initial consultation with a civil lawyer.