North Carolina Labor Laws

I just recently took a job in a restaurant and worked two days before resigning. The reason, to some may sound petty, but for me it’s a far bigger issue and I hope you guys really understand what I am about to say. I will more than likely write a follow up blog in regards to this. So here is the most simple reason that I quit… they would not give me a 5 min cigarette break. I was told you have to work 8 hours to get a break, and the amount of time, of that said break was not specified. Here’s the thing, I went at 4:30 pm and was scheduled until 11:30pm which mean I probably wouldn’t leave until midnight or later after doing my closing duties. For some this wouldn’t be a problem but for me it is, especially when the restaurant isn’t busy and you have other hostess’ to cover me while I’m gone. We will not get into all the other issues I experienced in 2 days like being told to wear black pants (dark colors) and when I arrived the first day I was told to go home and change for wearing black pants. A cotton jumper that I love & normally dress it up with a cool belt, shoes, and accessories but I didn’t so as not to stand out, but they said it was too casual and I was actually supposed to wear a black skirt or dress with a blazer or sweater. They let me stay because I said if I go home I wasn’t coming back because I live 30 minutes away which would have been an hour total, and longer because of 5 o’clock traffic. It was 9:45 pm when I asked for a 5 minute smoke break. The other hostess was smoking her vape pen as well as other servers inside of the restaurant by the way.

Once I got home I decided to look up North Carolina labor laws. I grew up and was always led to believe that if you work a certain amount of hours you are guaranteed a break. It states that no one over the age of 16 is guaranteed a break, of any kind, and basically you either follow the rules the company sets or quit. I already knew this but for some reason people like to argue with me and don’t believe me when I say that North Carolina laws are set to benefit the landlords and the employers. I worked at a warehouse years ago and that is when I found out about this law but a lot of people here tell me I am wrong. North Carolina is an at will state when it comes to employment. Which means you can be fired at anytime without explanation you are supposed to be able to quit at anytime because you either agree with the terms set by the employer or not. So this is the trick, if you quit you will not qualify for unemployment and they also penalize you for not putting in a two week notice but the employer doesn’t have to give you a two week notice before they fire you. I was working 12 hour shifts at that warehouse and was only allowed a 30 minute break for lunch and one 15 min break. Some of the other employees and I contacted the labor board and was told the above stated law.

North Carolina minimum wage is still $7.25 per hour. Like I stated in a previous blog some companies have gone up on their own but it is not standard across the board and the companies that did go up do not want to give you full time hours. I writing this to say that we allow government to distract us with media, fake news, and racism when we need to focus on what really matters… Outdated Laws! We need people of all races in all states to start figuring out what laws are outdated and need to be eliminated or changed. Yes, all feel empathy for what’s going on around the world but we can help everyone when we need help ourselves! We are all slaves, which is what the United States was built on, and I am not just talking about the black slaves. Anyone who doesn’t own their own business a slave and I don’t care how much you make per hour or salary per year… that can all be gone in the blink of an eye!

We as United States citizen need to focus on labor laws and minimum wage. Did you know that in 1970s minimum wage was like $3.30 per hour! So in 50 years, in North Carolina, it has only gone up $4.00. Wow! We also need to focus on education. If we force the government to rewrite the US history books and re-evaluate the school systems in general I feel like it eliminate some of the racism that they forced upon us. I know women are mad about the abortion law but it really isn’t a big concern at this time. Our biggest concern is being paid a fair wage for the work we do, because men get paid more than us for doing the same job still. We also need to be more focused on the families we already have, instead of adding more (and I will hold my real thoughts here) when the world’s population is predicted to be 8 billion this week. The abortion thing is simple, don’t have sex… I know, I’m being silly but which would you rather have sex or the ability to take care of yourself and your family. Both parents have to work so much to keep up with inflation and cost if living thus leaving them less time with their kids, parents, and other family members.

I say this all the time… Life was never meant to be this hard. No more pointing fingers, we know what needs to be changed like what they have been putting in our food and how it’s being made and produced labs now instead of grown in a field like The Most High intended. Whether you want to believe it or not… manufacturing was the biggest down fall of humanity. Let me know how you feel in the comments, live to hear your thoughts on the things I said.


Published by Phoennix

Writer and spoken word artist. I love to write poetry and short stories, my first two books are books of poetry. I am also a visual artist, wood and metal sculpting, as well as drawing and painting. I've worked in the food industry over 15 years so eating is my hobby. I hope to bring you a fresh and colorful voice on the arts and culinary worlds.

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