North Carolina’s current minimum wage is $7.25.
For more information on North Carolina’s minimum wage laws, visit our North Carolina Minimum Wage Laws page, which includes topics such as minimum wage, tip minimum wage, tip sharing and pooling, and subminimum wages.
Related topic covered on other pages include:
North Carolina labor laws require an employer to pay overtime to employees, unless otherwise exempt, at the rate of 1½ times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. NC Dept. of Workforce Solutions FAQs. See FLSA: Overtime for more information regarding overtime requirements.
North Carolina does not have a prevailing wage law that governs wage rates on government project or service contracts.
Under certain circumstances, employers in North Carolina may be required to pay residents wage rates established by federal prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the federal and state’s standard minimum wage rates. Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain government services. See the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.
Meals and Breaks
North Carolina labor laws require employers to provide employees fourteen (14) or fifteen (15) years of age with a thirty (30) minute break when scheduled to work over five (5) hours. NC Statutes 95-25.5(e).
North Carolina employers are not required to provide either a rest break (generally ten (10) or fifteen (15) minutes) or a meal break (usually thirty (30) minutes or more) for anyone who is sixteen (16) years of age or older. However, in accordance with federal law, if an employer chooses to provide additional breaks, they must be paid. Meal or lunch periods do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period. NC Dept. of Labor Facts.
Nurse Mother Breaks
North Carolina labor laws do not require employers to provide nursing mothers with breaks to express breast milk. However, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires certain employees to provide nonexempt nursing mothers for one (1) year following a child’s birth with reasonable rest breaks to express milk and private spaces, other than a bathroom, to express breast milk.
Information about North Carolina vacation leave laws may now be found on our North Carolina Leave Laws page.
Information about North Carolina sick leave laws may now be found on our North Carolina Leave Laws page.
Information about North Carolina holiday leave laws may now be found on our North Carolina Leave Laws page.
Jury Duty Leave
Information about North Carolina jury duty leave laws may now be found on our North Carolina Leave Laws page.
Information about North Carolina voting leave laws may now be found on our North Carolina Leave Laws page.
North Carolina labor laws do not require employers to provide employees with severance pay. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.
Under certain circumstances, North Carolina residents may be eligible for unemployment benefits while they search for another job. You are required to certify that you are unemployed on a weekly basis to receive these benefits. See North Carolina State Unemployment Benefits.