Do I Have To Pay My Employees A Minimum Wage?

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CHARLOTTE – Welcome to my column! Each week I will be addressing common payroll issues and questions.

This is my most asked question aside from exempt and nonexempt employees (I will touch on this next week).

The federal minimum wage provisions are contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. Many states also have minimum wage laws. Some state laws provide greater employee protections; employers must comply with both.

The minimum wage in North Carolina is currently $7.25 an hour. Employers doing business in North Carolina are required to pay at least $7.25 per hour to all employees (agricultural and domestic employees are subject to the federal minimum wage).

In North Carolina, an employer MUST pay at least $2.13 an hour to tipped employees as long as each employee receives enough in tips to make up the difference between the wages paid and the minimum wage ($7.25).

Employers MUST pay more than the $2.13 hourly cash wage if the tipped employee earns less than the credit in tips per hour, as it is the employer’s responsibility to make sure that all tipped employees earn at least the minimum wage in cash wages and tips.

Jen Stevenson Payroll is a member of American Payroll Association, Union County Chamber of Commerce, and the Waxhaw Business Association. Please feel free to reach out to me @ and I will answer them in my column or via email.

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