The federal Fair Labor
Standards Act (FLSA) allows employers to pay a Youth
Minimum Wage (aka Opportunity Wage) of at least
$4.25 an hour to employees who are under the age
of 20 for the first 90 days of initial employment.
It is the position of the North Carolina Department
of Labor (NCDOL) that the federal Youth Minimum
Wage cannot be used by most employers in
North Carolina regardless of the Annual Dollar Volume
(ADV) of the business and regardless of federal
or State coverage. This position even includes
employees of State, county and local governments.
Note: This position does not include employees
of agriculture and domestic employers since the
North Carolina minimum wage does not apply to these
employers at all. This means that in North
Carolina, with the exception of agriculture and
domestic employers, employers who are otherwise
covered by the federal FLSA are subject to the full
North Carolina minimum wage of $7.25 an hour for
employees under the age of 20 for the first 90 days
of initial employment.
However, the federal
FLSA also authorizes other sub-minimum wage rates
for certain categories of employees such as full-time
students, learners, apprentices, and handicapped
workers. The North Carolina minimum wage does
not apply to these categories of employees
if their employment is covered by the federal FLSA.
Henceforth, the NCDOL does recognize the
federal full-time student rate of 85% of the federal
minimum wage for those full-time students who are
covered by the federal FLSA.
For questions on the
federal FLSA, contact the United States Department
of Labor's Wage and Hour Division in either Charlotte
(704) 749-3360 or Raleigh (919) 790-2741.
Web site: http://www.dol.gov.
The NCDOL takes this
position pursuant to N.C.G.S. 95-25.14(a)(1)b of
the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act (WHA):
"Notwithstanding the above, any employee other than
a learner, apprentice, student, or handicapped worker
as defined in the Fair Labor Standards Act who is
not otherwise exempt under the other provisions
of this section, and for whom the applicable minimum
wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act is less
than the minimum wage provided in G.S. 95-25.3,
is not exempt from the provisions of G.S. 95-25.3
or G.S. 95-25.4;" (95-25.4 is the overtime pay section
under the WHA).
For questions or clarification,
North Carolina Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Bureau
1101 Mail Service
Raleigh, NC 27699-1101
(919) 807-2796 or (toll-free NC only) 1-800-NC-LABOR
Web site: http://www.nclabor.com