Recently, I ran into a problem with my current employer because it has inconsistently paid me money that is due to me. And whether it be due to the employer's mistake or my failure to record hours, the employer failed to exhibit best practices and professionalism.
Bottom line, these folks failed to pay me on an official pay day on one occasion, and on a separate occasion, my check was short 8 hours. How dreadful! Aside: Once you become an attorney, you should begin transitioning yourself out of document review work, for it's a place of transition, not permanence. I call it purgatory.
Additionally, when I noticed that my current check would be 8 hours short, which was the Thursday afternoon before Friday (payday), I notified payroll. Payroll, in turn, did not respond. I actually had to follow up with payroll on payday about wages due. The gist of the conversation was that since this time it was my fault for failure to submit hours, the payroll lady told me that she (not the company) would not pay extra money to process an additional deposit in time for payday, even though there was no dispute in funds. Payroll lady resolved to direct deposit my funds the following Friday, seven days later and not on an official payday.
This unfortunate occurrence piqued my interest, and I was motivated to research administrative law for North Carolina.
I spent Saturday afternoon reading Department of Labor of NC's website and Wage and Hour Act to see what recommendations from which this employer could benefit. Because of payroll lady's nastiness and unprofessionalism,I felt the need to offer this employer some tips to bring this employer into compliance with North Carolina Department of Labor administrative rules.
Here are some statutes that I found helpful in this dispute. Let's take a look.
§ 95-25.6. Wage Payment section 95-25.6: Every employer shall pay every employee all wages and tips accruing to the employee on the regular payday. Pay periods may be daily, weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly. Wages based upon bonuses, commissions, or other forms of calculation may be paid as infrequently as annually if prescribed in advance. (1975, c. 413, s. 3; 1977, c. 826, s. 3; 1979, c. 839, s. 1.)
(a) If the amount of wages is in dispute, the employer shall pay the wages, or that part of the wages, which the employer concedes to be due without condition, within the time set by this Article. The employee retains all remedies that the employee might otherwise be entitled to regarding any balance of wages claimed by the employee, including those remedies provided under this Article.
As discussed above, this employer refused to pay wages promised and due to me on an official payday even after given notice, but this should not have happened. My solution is reasonable and hardly depletes the resources of a corporation that has proffitted from my labor.
The Department of Labor NC laws further makes almost any payment to employees acceptable including direct deposit, money orders, and checks. So if payroll lady did not want to pay a direct deposit processing fee (personally) because of extra fees, she should have borrowed the $0.89 from me. I would've absorb the costs. Notice the sarcasm. You and I both know these mofos should've gotten the task done using its own resources, no excuses.
Every employer shall:
(2) Make available to its employees, in writing or through a posted notice maintained in a place accessible to its employees, employment practices and policies with regard to promised wages.
This employer does not maintain in a place accessible to it's employees any signs on employment practices and policies with regard to promised wages. There is not a sign in the break room, halls, doorways, cubicles, offices that explains where to log worked hours, the last day to submit worked hours or how to amend worked hours. There isn't a payroll calendar posted anywhere in the facility listing unpaid holidays (when they occur). Alternatively, employees rely on word-of-mouth from co-workers. This employer is not currently in compliance with the Wage and Hour Act of NC.
In sum, my recommendation: this employer must post signs in its hallways, break rooms, cubicle and offices as these places are readily accessible to employees. Since I'm not the first employee complaining of this company's failure to pay its employees, this employer should restructure its payroll process as it is systematically and procedurally faulty.
Disparate Treatment or ???
All it takes is for payroll lady to treat one employee favorably over another for there to be a lawsuit over a litany of issues.
Disclaimer: Please note that this is not legal advice. You should hire a NC licensed attorney should you experience disputes regarding pay with your employer or a previous one. I'm not a NC licensed attorney, but I can point you into the direction of one!
Til next time ... protect your energy and your pockets.