South Carolina Labor Laws

South Carolina Labor Laws (2024 Guide For Employers)

It’s essential for employers and employees working in the state of South Carolina to have a solid understanding of South Carolina labor laws.

  • Are you struggling to understand South Carolina’s labor laws regarding the payment of wages, minimum wage rates, and related medical conditions?
  • Confused about your rights concerning health care, health insurance, and reasonable accommodations in the workplace?
  • Unsure about the implications of summer breaks on employment practices and the employment relationship?

When it comes to employment law, it’s important to find an accurate interpretation of South Carolina’s intricate labor regulations.

With a focus on topics ranging from minimum wage laws to USERRA rights, we will point you toward a range of resources on employment law in the Palmetto State.

This article is for:

  • Employees seeking clarity on their rights regarding payment of wages, health care benefits, and reasonable accommodations.
  • Employers striving to understand their obligations under South Carolina’s minimum wage law and ensure compliance with employment regulations.
  • Individuals in need of guidance on navigating employment practices during summer breaks and addressing related medical conditions in the workplace.

Understanding labor laws is often an overwhelming and frustrating process, but rest assured, we’re here to guide you through it. Our goal is to point both employees and employers to the resources they need to foster productive and equitable employment relationships.

Join us as we explore the nuances of South Carolina’s labor laws and discover practical solutions to common workplace challenges.

Disclaimer: Despite our best efforts to provide you with accurate information on this topic at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content at the time of reading. This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult an attorney for specific guidance on South Carolina labor laws.

South Carolina Wage Laws

Minimum Wage

South Carolina adheres to the federal minimum wage which is currently $7.25 per hour.

However, certain employers, such as those subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), must comply with the federal minimum wage regardless of state law.

Tipped Employees

Employers may pay tipped employees less than the minimum wage as long as their tips and wages combined equal at least the federal minimum wage.

South Carolina Payment Laws

Pay Periods

South Carolina requires employers to establish regular pay periods.

Paydays

Employers must pay wages earned on or before the next established regular payday.

Final Payments

After termination, an employee’s final paycheck must be paid no later than the next regular payday or within 30 days, whichever comes first.

Recordkeeping

Employers must maintain accurate wage and hour records for their employees.

South Carolina Overtime Laws

Overtime Rate

In South Carolina, the standard overtime rate is 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

Exemptions

Certain employees, such as salaried executives, administrative, and professional employees, may be exempt from overtime pay requirements under federal and state law.

South Carolina Break Laws

South Carolina does not have specific laws mandating meal periods or rest breaks for adult employees.

However, employers must adhere to federal laws if applicable, such as nursing break requirements for mothers.

South Carolina Leave Requirements

Sick Leave

No state law mandates paid sick leave in South Carolina. Private employers may establish their own policies.

Vacation Leave

South Carolina has no laws requiring employers to offer paid vacation leave.

Jury Duty

Employers cannot prevent or penalize employees for serving on jury duty. Employers are not obligated to pay for time missed during jury service.

Voting Leave

There is no South Carolina law requiring employers to provide time off for voting.

Military Leave

Employers must provide leave for employees in the National Guard or reserve components of the military. Employers must not discriminate against members of the military.

Family and Medical Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law providing eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave per year for qualifying reasons like serious illness, childbirth, or caring for an ill family member.

Bone Marrow or Organ Donation

Employers may offer paid leave for bone marrow or organ donation and may require doctor verification.

Child Labor Laws In South Carolina

South Carolina adheres to both federal and state child labor laws, protecting minors in the workforce. These laws set restrictions on:

Minimum Working Age

The general minimum working age in South Carolina is 14.

Work Hours

Minors under 16 have limits on the hours they can work both during and outside of school hours.

Hazardous Occupations

Certain occupations are considered too hazardous for minors under 18.

Work Permits

For some jobs, minors may need to obtain work permits.

South Carolina Hiring Laws

Discrimination

South Carolina prohibits employment discrimination based on factors like race, religion, color, sex, pregnancy, age (40 and older), national origin, disability, or genetic information.

The South Carolina Human Affairs Law (SCHAL) covers employers with 15 or more employees.

Background Checks

Employers may conduct background checks, but must consider federal and state laws regarding the use of criminal history information.

E-Verify

South Carolina requires employers to use E-Verify to confirm the work eligibility of new hires.

Drug Testing

Employers have the right to conduct drug testing in accordance with state laws.

South Carolina Termination Laws

At-Will Employment

South Carolina is an at-will employment state, meaning employers can terminate employees for any reason or no reason at all, as long as it’s not discriminatory or in retaliation for protected activities.

Wrongful Termination Exceptions

Even in an at-will state, there are exceptions, such as:

  • Termination in violation of an employment contract
  • Retaliation against an employee for exercising their legal rights (e.g., filing a workers’ compensation claim)
  • Discrimination based on a protected characteristic

Notice

Employers are not required to give advance notice of termination in South Carolina, but may choose to do so as a professional courtesy.

Occupational Safety In South Carolina

OSHA

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) sets workplace safety and health standards. Most South Carolina employers are subject to OSHA regulations.

South Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration (SC OSHA)

This state agency enforces occupational safety regulations in South Carolina and can conduct workplace inspections.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers must provide a safe workplace, free from recognized hazards, and comply with OSHA/SC OSHA standards and regulations.

Important Considerations and Resources

Federal vs. State Law

Where federal and state laws overlap, the laws providing greater protection for employees generally apply.

Industry-Specific Rules

Some industries may have additional labor law regulations beyond the general laws outlined in this article.

The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (LLR)

This department provides resources and information on South Carolina labor laws.

Employment Attorneys

Consulting an employment attorney can be helpful if you have complex or specific questions about your rights or responsibilities under South Carolina labor laws.

Key Takeaways

Understanding South Carolina’s labor laws, and related federal laws, is crucial for both employers and employees. Here’s a brief summary to keep in mind:

  • Minimum Wage: South Carolina follows the federal minimum wage.
  • Overtime: Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay at 1.5 times their regular rate for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek.
  • Breaks: South Carolina does not mandate meal or rest breaks for adults.
  • Leave: Limited mandated leave requirements exist (see section for details).
  • Child Labor: South Carolina restricts the types of work and hours minors can work.
  • Discrimination: South Carolina laws prohibit employment discrimination based on protected characteristics.
  • At-Will Employment: South Carolina is an at-will employment state, but there are exceptions for wrongful termination.
  • Occupational Safety: OSHA sets workplace safety standards enforced by SC OSHA.

Staying informed about your rights and responsibilities under these laws will contribute to a fair and safe working environment in South Carolina.

Disclaimer: Not Legal Advice

This blog post provides a general overview of South Carolina labor laws but does not constitute legal advice. Laws and regulations are subject to change, and there may be additional requirements or exemptions that apply to specific situations. Employers and employees should consult a qualified labor law attorney for advice on their specific circumstances.

If you have any questions about your rights or obligations as an employer or employee in South Carolina, it is essential to consult with a labor law attorney to receive accurate information and guidance tailored to your situation. By seeking professional legal advice, you can ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps to comply with labor laws and protect your rights.

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