North Carolina Overtime and Meal & Rest Break Laws for Nurses

Under North Carolina General Statutes sections 95-25.14 and 95-25.4, employers are legally required to provide mandatory overtime pay for employees working in excessive of 40 hours per week. Mandatory overtime pay is calculated as one and one-half times the worker’s usual hourly pay. This provision also applies to seasonal nurses or workers working in excess of 45 hours per week. There is no requirement under North Carolina or federal law for an employer to compensate an employee for work performed in one day that exceeds eight hours as long as the weekly total does not exceed 40 hours (or 45 for seasonal nurses).

North Carolina has not adopted specific legislation with respect to meal or rest breaks. As such, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) serves as a statutory gap-filler to provide employers and employees with guidelines about employment and labor issues. Currently, the Act does not require that an employer provide his or her employee with meal or rest breaks regardless of the length of the shift or the nature of the work. Nevertheless, many employers choose to include meal and rest breaks in employee contracts. Employers choosing to provide meal and rest breaks are under no legal duty to pay employers during rest times.
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