North CarolinaNorth Carolina

Employment: Wages and Vacation Earned

Authored By: Legal Aid of North Carolina LSC Funded

Quick Facts



If you leave work, whether you quit or are discharged, you are entitled to any wages earned before the separation. Any wages you have earned must be paid on the next regular payday after your last day of work.

Unless you have agreed in writing to allow your employer to retain some of your wages under specific circumstances, your employer cannot withhold your wages.

If you believe that you are owed wages, you can contact the Department of Labor and make a compliant.

N.C. Department of Labor
Division of Wages & Hours
(919) 807-2796

You can also file a claim for money owed in Small Claims Court if your claim for wages is $5,000.00 or less.


Vacation Benefits

An employee separated from employment is entitled to the vacation time he has earned if the employer regularly provides vacation benefits. However, the employee might not be eligible for vacation benefits if the employer has a policy that specifically limits the vacation benefits and the employee has been properly notified of that policy.  


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Last Review and Update: May 15, 2014