Minimum wage in North Carolina

Q. What is the minimum wage for North Carolina employees? Is it different than the federal minimum wage?

A. The present minimum wage for most North Carolina employees is $6.15 per hour. Effective Jan. 1, 2007, the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act was amended to raise the minimum wage in North Carolina to $6.15 per hour or the federal minimum wage, whichever is higher. At present, the federal minimum wage is $5.85 per hour, which, of course, is lower than $6.15 per hour.

However, the federal minimum wage is scheduled to increase to $6.55 per hour on July 24, 2008, and to $7.25 per hour on July 24, 2009. Unless the state raises its minimum before those dates, the federal wage will prevail.