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Minimum Amount of Hours - Not Required

An employer is not required to pay a minimum number of hours to its hourly paid employees or to its non-exempt salary employees including if they are called back in. An employer only has to pay its hourly employees and non-exempt salary employees for the actual hours worked regardless of how long or how few the time is.

For example: If an employer called an employee in to work but sent the employee home after waiting 15 minutes to see if the employee would be needed, then the employer only has to pay the employee for the 15 minutes as the time waiting is work time. If an employer called an employee in to work but met the employee at the door and sent the employee home before the employee had to wait or perform any work, then the employer would not have to pay this employee anything at all. If an employer called an employee in for a conference or meeting that lasted only 30 minutes and this is all of the time that the employee worked that day, then the employer only has to pay the employee for the 30 minutes. But an employer does have to pay its employees for the time they have to wait in the establishment to see if they are needed.

The only variation to this is if an employer has made a promise to pay its employees a certain minimum amount of time if an hourly employee or non-exempt salary employee is called in as a wage payment agreement. The giving or not giving of promised wages, including wage benefits, is entirely up to each employer. "Promised wages" can be an hourly rate that is more than the minimum wage, overtime pay for certain days worked rather than the statutory requirement of paying overtime pay for the hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek, shift differential pay, commissions, bonuses, piece-rate, production pay, a weekly salary, a monthly salary, subsistence, or mileage expenses. "Wage benefits" are benefits such as vacation pay, sick leave, jury duty pay, and holiday pay. If an employer does promise to pay such wages, then the employer must pay all promised wages, including wage benefits, accruing to its employees based on any policy, agreement or practice that the employer has established. And pursuant to N.C.G.S. 95-25.13(2), the employer must: "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."

Please review on-line our fact sheet on Promised Wages Including Wage Benefits for details on promised wages and wage benefits.

North Carolina Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Bureau
1101 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1101
(919) 807-2796 or (toll-free NC only) 1-800-NC-LABOR
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