North Carolina Minimum Wage for 2021, 2022
Contents :: North Carolina Minimum Wage
North Carolina's state minimum wage rate is $7.25 per hour. This is the same as the current Federal Minimum Wage rate. The minimum wage applies to most employees in North Carolina, with limited exceptions including tipped employees, some student workers, and other exempt occupations.†
The North Carolina minimum wage was last changed in 2008, when it was raised $0.70 from $6.55 to $7.25.
North Carolina's minimum wage is raised with the Federal Minimum Wage. Government employees are covered by the North Carolina minimum wage, but domestic and agricultural workers are exempt. Some full-time students may be paid a wage no less then 90% of the current minimum wage.
North Carolina allows tip pooling for tipped employees, but each employee must be allowed to keep at least 85% of the tips given to them. Tipped employees may be paid less then the Minimum Wage.
North Carolina employers may not pay you under $7.25 per hour unless you or your occupation are specifically exempt from the minimum wage under state or federal law.
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All North Carolina employers must display an approved North Carolina minimum wage poster in a prominent place to inform employees about the minimum wage and their worker's rights under North Carolina labor law.
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North Carolina Minimum Wage & Labor Law Posters
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and North Carolina labor law requires all employers in North Carolina to visibly display an approved North Carolina minimum wage poster, and other North Carolina and federal labor law posters, to ensure that all employees are aware of federal and North Carolina labor law and overtime regulations. Failure to display a North Carolina labor law poster in the workplace can result in severe fines.
The North Carolina minimum wage poster, and additional required North Carolina labor law posters, are also available on the North Carolina labor law posters download page.
North Carolina Overtime Minimum Wage
All workers who put in over 40 weekly hours are entitled to a minimum wage of at least 1.5 times the regular applicable minimum wage (learn more about North Carolina overtime pay). Some states require workers who work over a certain number of daily hours to be eligible for this overtime rate as well (North Carolina law does not specify a daily overtime limit).
The FLSA guarantees all NC employees adequate overtime compensation for all qualifying overtime hours worked. If your employer does not pay adequate overtime wages, you can file an unpaid overtime claim with the North Carolina Department of Labor.
North Carolina Minimum Wage Exemptions
In addition to any North Carolina-specific minimum wage exemptions described above, the Federal Fair Labor Standards act defines special minimum wage rates applicable to certain types of workers. You may be paid under the North Carolina minimum wage if you fit into one of the following categories:
- North Carolina Under 20 Minimum Wage - $4.25 - Federal law allows any employer in North Carolina to pay a new employee who is under 20 years of age a training wage of $4.25 per hour for the first 90 days of employment.
- North Carolina Tipped Minimum Wage - See Here - Employees who earn a certain amount of tips every month may be paid a lower cash minimum wage, but must earn at least $7.25 including tips every hour. For more details, read about the North Carolina tipped minimum wage.
Frequently Asked Questions - North Carolina Minimum Wage & Labor Law
- What is the North Carolina minimum wage?
The current North Carolina minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is the lowest amount a non-exempt employee in North Carolina can legally be paid for hourly work. Special minimum wage rates, such as the "North Carolina waitress minimum wage" for tipped employees, may apply to certain workers.
- How much will I earn working a minimum wage jobin North Carolina?
A full time minimum wage worker in North Carolina working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, will earn $58.00 per day, $290.00 per week, and $15,080.00 per year1. The national poverty line for a family unit consisting of two people is $16,020.00 per year.
- What is the North Carolina under 18 minimum wage?
North Carolina employers may pay 18 year olds and minors the youth minimum wage of $4.25 for the first 90 days of employment. Other labor law exemptions for minors in North Carolina may exist.
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1 These earnings estimates do not account for the North Carolina income tax , federal income tax, or local/municipal income taxes.
2 Poverty line for a family of two in the lower 48 published 2016 by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services