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North Carolina Employment Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Insurance Bad Faith and Insurance Defense for North Carolina on
Q: Can an employee insurance refuse to pay the beneficiary who is her granddaughter because the employee was not married?
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Sep 30, 2022

A North Carolina attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for four weeks. An attorney is likely going to want to see more details about the policy. If you could arrange a brief initial consult, an attorney might be able to outline the best options here, such as litigation or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for North Carolina on
Q: I notified my employer I was giving notice. Company policy is 2wks. He accepted effective immediately, without paying.

I was in a very high corporate position but did not sign a contract beyond the handbook. I had no formal documentations in my year at the company. I started as a VP, and he changed my title and responsibilities to a higher role, without changing my pay.

Was the company required to pay my... Read more »

Kirton M. Madison
Kirton M. Madison
answered on Sep 27, 2022

If you were an at-will employee, then the company (assuming it is not a state agency) had no obligation to pay the notice period. The organization was free to terminate your employment absent an agreement stating otherwise.

It seems as though you are suggesting that a contract was...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for North Carolina on
Q: In the state of NC can I legally be fired for telling a joke to a coworker when I'm not at work?
Kirton M. Madison
Kirton M. Madison
answered on Sep 12, 2022

In general--yes. North Carolina is an at-will employment state. Absent an employee contract or an agreement, the employer can terminate someone's employment for almost any reason or no reason at all. You may want to speak with an employment attorney if other factors were at play, but this... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Workers' Compensation and Employment Law for North Carolina on
Q: Is an injured worker ENTITLED to benefits when his EMPLOYER reduces his/hers work hours due to employees on-going pain.

Is an injured worker, who returned back to work for the past 12 months, ENTITLED to benefits when [he] is still receiving pain management treatment for low back pain, given numerous work restrictions by treating doctor echoing the FCE Test restrictions, the treating doctors work note doesn't... Read more »

David Gantt
David Gantt
answered on Sep 7, 2022

Yes, if wages are reduced due to pain problems. Workers' Compensation (WC) compensation to injured workers in North Carolina is based on loss of earning capacity and time out of work as determined by qualified medical professionals. In this case, Tony's employer, not medical staff, has... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for North Carolina on
Q: Hi, How do you know when you take a new job, you are not violating non-compete ?

I work for a large telecom company & signed a non compete, the non compete language is broad & does not mention any companies.

I have an offer to join a startup company in technology. This new company is not a direct competitor & not in the telecom space. I want to make sure I... Read more »

Kirk Angel
Kirk Angel
answered on Aug 29, 2022

You need to speak to an employment attorney who has experience with non-competes as this is a complex legal question. It is highly unlikely that you will find the answer simply by googling it. Also, even an experienced attorney may not be able to give a 100% definitive answer depending on how the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for North Carolina on
Q: I’m a salaried exempt employee. I recently missed a few days from being sick. My employer docked my pay for those days.

In prior companies my pay was not docked for documented sick days. So I’m not sure if it was out of courtesy or because they were required to. We do have a PTO plan but I’m new to this role so I’m unable to use any.

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Jun 28, 2022

If you miss one or more full days of work (and PTO is currently unavailable to you), then your employer can reduce your pay proportionally to value of each day missed. For example, if you work Monday through Friday and typically make $1,000 per week, and you are absent on Monday, your employer can... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for North Carolina on
Q: Would a lawyer be willing to review my exit documents from a company post termination to make sure they're legit?

I was terminated from my job in NC which is a 'work at will' state. I don't have enough proof in writing to dispute the termination but I do want to have the exit documents reviewed to make sure I'm not screwing myself. It looks like I have to sign their exit documents to get my... Read more »

Kirton M. Madison
Kirton M. Madison
answered on Mar 16, 2022

Many employment lawyers will review your severance agreement and explain its terms and enforceability to you for a fee. However, we would also want to discuss your employment history with the company, your experience working there, and what led to your termination to ensure that your rights were... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for North Carolina on
Q: My previous employer has not paid my wages that was owed to me on January 28, 2022. What can I do?

He says, I have to sign a document and return company property in order to get my paycheck. He also still owes me another (my final) paycheck.

Kirk Angel
Kirk Angel
answered on Feb 6, 2022

File a wage claim with the NC Department of Labor. Free of charge and you can do it online. He cannot lawfully hold your pay to make you sign a document or return company property. If you had previously signed a document he might be able to deduct something from your final pay, but not hold it.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for North Carolina on
Q: I live in north Carolina and my employer has started docking our pay for not taking lunches. Is this legal?
Kirk Angel
Kirk Angel
answered on Dec 9, 2021

If you are a non-exempt employee, then the employer is required to pay you for all hours worked. If you work through lunch, you must be paid for lunch. If you do not work through lunch, then the employer would be justified in not paying you for lunch.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for North Carolina on
Q: Can a previous employer refuse to mail you your last paycheck?

I have requested that my paycheck be mailed but the employer is telling me they will not mail it because they want me to come in and sign a paper stating that I received it. I asked to DocuSign it and they said no. Is this legal?

David Allan King
David Allan King
answered on Oct 28, 2021

From North Carolina's Statute § 95-25.7 (the Wage and Hour Act)

Payment to separated employees.

Employees whose employment is discontinued for any reason shall be paid all wages due on or before the next regular payday either through the regular pay channels or by mail if...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for North Carolina on
Q: I need to know if I have a claim for retaliation in workplace?

My DM said I would be promoted to GM once he fired the other manager for harassment. He didn’t fire him so I filed a hr complaint and they let the harassing gm go after investigation. Now he says well we will see after I talk to a couple of others. I have the text messages leading up to this and... Read more »

David Allan King
David Allan King
answered on Oct 28, 2021

There is no clear answer to this question, as it basically depends on whether a judge/jury believes you not getting the promotion was because of a good faith complaint.

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice and Employment Law for North Carolina on
Q: Can I get legal help for my vertigo

I have vertigo and turned in paperwork to my general manager at work but still received written referrals for being late and not showing up when I am having vertigo can I be fired for it

Kyle Anderson
Kyle Anderson
answered on Jul 14, 2021

Hi more information is needed here. If your vertigo qualifies as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and you request a reasonable accommodation, the employer should work with you on getting an accommodation you need. I would reach out to an employment law attorney in your state... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for North Carolina on
Q: A person is accusing me of taking a picture of them without their knowledge, but in the picture it shows them in poses?

They never asked me not to take their picture?

Ina Shtukar
Ina Shtukar
answered on Jun 24, 2021

I am lost. Could you please give more context. What is your employer's position? Or is it even related to your employment? It is not illegal to take a picture of someone in a public place.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for North Carolina on
Q: Hello, I’m inquiring on whether I was wrongfully terminated from Zoom Drain.

I was discharged from Zoom Drain last Thursday while I was on vacation. On Wednesday it was communicated to me that one of the 4 of us working there was a confirmed covid 19 case and they weren’t requiring anyone to get tested as long as they didn’t feel sick. I inquired because I know that’s... Read more »

Ina Shtukar
Ina Shtukar
answered on Jun 24, 2021

More information is needed but it sounds like you may have a claim.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for North Carolina on
Q: Can my employer force me to take FMLA when the physician recommended an accommodation that is under ADA?
Ina Shtukar
Ina Shtukar
answered on Jun 24, 2021

No. The employer cannot force you to take the FMLA leave. If both ADA and FMLA apply, you are entitled to pick the more beneficial option. Sounds like you may need to contact an attorney.

2 Answers | Asked in Small Claims, Employment Law and Collections for North Carolina on
Q: Can I take legal action to receive the total compensation I should have been paid while working there?

While interviewing for a chain restaurant GM position mid Dec of 2019 I was asked what annual salary I would accept to leave where I was currently employed and work there. I asked for 65,000 and the district Mgr at that time who was interviewing me agreed, but he said they would need to start me at... Read more »

Kirton M. Madison
Kirton M. Madison
answered on Jun 16, 2021

Yes. You can take action. You should hurry though because you are running up against the statute of limitations. You should be able to use the documentation and text messages that you already have in your possession. You may take the restaurant to small claims court for the difference in the amount... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for North Carolina on
Q: How long can a previous employer legally expect payback for income that was accidentally overpaid during employment?

The amount overpaid was under $2,000. There is no contract stating the overpayment would be paid back.

Kirton M. Madison
Kirton M. Madison
answered on Jun 7, 2021

First, it should be determined if the employee was actually overpaid. If there was an overpayment, the employer may ask them to return the money. If the employee refuses to return the money, the employer may take them to court to recover it.

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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for North Carolina on
Q: Can you get fired for wanting to be sent home after requesting payment that was never received?

I am a traveling worker & I was sent to work at a site. They have trouble paying people. So I told the site manager & regional manager that I haven't been paid. The site manager eventually quit so all I had was the regional one to deal with. He told me that he already paid me on a card... Read more »

Kirton M. Madison
Kirton M. Madison
answered on Jun 2, 2021

You have a right to complain about unpaid wages but you may not be allowed to choose your worksite unless you have an employment contract that says otherwise. You can complain through your company's formal channels about the unpaid wages and the worksite's timekeeping issues. If that is... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Civil Rights and Employment Discrimination for North Carolina on
Q: Do I have the right to NOT answer the ? if I have had the covid vaccine to my employer?

I agreed to still wear a mask but was told if I don’t answer the assessment questions then I cannot work.

Can they discriminate against me for that?

Kirk Angel
Kirk Angel
answered on May 22, 2021

You do not have to answer. However, the employer can terminate you for not answering.

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for North Carolina on
Q: Can an employer drop the pay for the hours you already worked to minimum wage if you quit without a two week notice
Kirk Angel
Kirk Angel
answered on May 18, 2021

Your employer can reduce your pay at any time. However, it can only reduce it for future work. It is unlawful for your employer to reduce your pay for time already worked. You can file a wage complaint with the NC Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division.

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