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What Are the Labor Laws in North Carolina?

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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Every North Carolina employer has various legal obligations to their employee, and the state enforces a strict set of rules regarding employee-employer relationships in the state. Therefore, every employer needs to know and understand the labor laws of North Carolina and the obligations they require of them. Likewise, it is also essential for all North Carolina workers to know their rights when it comes to their work, their compensation, and their legal rights when workplace injuries happen or if legal disputes arise.

Let Us Help You Evaluate Your Problem and Show You Your Options

Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler routinely assists North Carolina clients with many employment-related legal cases, including claims for damages from workplace injuries, workplace safety regulation noncompliance, and employer retaliation. If there are any legal concerns about your current work relationship with your employer and your rights under North Carolina law, we can evaluate your situation and help you determine your best available legal options.

Workplace Harassment and Discrimination Laws in North Carolina

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of the United States enforces workplace fairness laws that apply to all employers throughout the country. This law primarily focuses on workplace discrimination and harassment. No employer may discriminate against job applicants or employees on the basis of race, skin color, religion, sex, age, medical status, or any other protected personal quality. Employers must also enforce anti-harassment policies in their workplaces.

When an employee experiences any form of workplace harassment or discrimination, they can file a complaint to the EEOC before proceeding with a civil claim for damages. The EEOC must investigate the claim and deliver its determination of the case. Depending on the complaint, it may also initiate legal proceedings directly against an employer. Employers face severe penalties for intentional violations of EEOC laws in North Carolina workplaces.

Wage and Hour Statutes for North Carolina Employers

North Carolina enforces strict rules regarding pay for work in the state. Employers who pay their employees hourly wages must meet the state’s minimum wage requirement, and they must meet the state’s overtime rules. In addition, when workers exceed a set amount of work hours in a workday or a number of hours in a workweek, they are entitled to a higher hourly wage to reflect their extra work.

Unfortunately, some employers attempt to pay their employees less than they are legally owed by taking illegal deductions from their paychecks, misallocating hours worked, or failing to provide pay stubs. An employee with a wage and hour claim may be able to recover compensation for their lost income and legal fees. Depending on the case, they may also receive compensatory damages from the defendant.

Hiring an experienced attorney means you will have a representative who can accurately calculate the full scope of losses you can claim in your wage and hour dispute. Many employees experience such problems only to discover their employers have carried on this behavior for much longer than they realized. Your attorney can assist you in calculating the full impact of an employer’s wage and hour violation in North Carolina.

Workers’ Compensation for Workplace Injuries

The North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) is the state agency responsible for the administration of the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act. Anyone working in North Carolina who sustains an injury at work has the right to file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits to help them recover. This act also ensures their job will be waiting for them if they are able to continue working after their recovery.

A successful workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina should yield full coverage for all the injured workers’ medical expenses, and they can also receive ongoing disability benefits if their injury impairs their earning capacity. For example, if they can work after their injury but cannot earn as much as they did previously because of it, partial disability benefits could offset their diminished earning capacity.

If an injured worker cannot return to work at all, total disability benefits may continue until they reach maximum medical improvement from their injury or for several years after the injury occurred. If you want to maximize the benefits you receive from workers’ compensation in North Carolina, it is always best to find an attorney who can help you file your claim.

Almost all employers in North Carolina are legally required by state law to have workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance comes into play whenever workplace injuries occur. The injured worker can file a claim against their employer’s insurance policy, similar to how most other insurance claims are filed. When employers do not have appropriate insurance coverage, interfere with injured workers’ claims, or directly and intentionally cause injuries to their employees, they face severe penalties along with liability for victims’ damages.

How Can an Attorney Help Me?

When you have experienced any form of workplace harassment or discrimination, an employment attorney familiar with EEOC claims is the best resource to consult for holding your employer accountable for the adverse treatment you experienced. In addition, if you were paid incorrectly by your employer or if they have refused to pay you for the time you worked, an experienced attorney can assist you in filing a claim for damages that may yield more than just your missing wages.

When you sustain an injury at work, you could face a very challenging road to recovery. Depending on how and why your injury occurred, you may need to file a civil claim after resolving your initial claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, there is no promise that your workers’ compensation claim will be resolved swiftly without dispute. Having an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney assist you with your claim will significantly improve your chances of securing fair compensation for your damages.

Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler knows how devastating a workplace injury can be and the legal challenges many injured North Carolina workers face in their recovery efforts. If you are unsure of your rights under the labor laws of North Carolina, a Charlotte work injury lawyer can review everything about your situation and let you know how our firm can assist you. Contact us today and schedule a consultation with an attorney you can trust.