Hours & Pay Regulations
Normal Working Hours
The Fair Labor Standards Act defines the workweek as a fixed and recurring period of 168 hours comprised of seven consecutive 24-hour periods that do not need to coincide with the calendar week. It is adjustable only if the change is designed to be permanent. Each week is considered on its own for purposes of calculating overtime. The hours of two or more weeks may not be averaged.
South Carolina has no general provision governing overtime pay, but most employees would be subject to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which requires that all nonexempt employees be paid at a rate of one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a week.
Breast Feeding Break
S.C. Code Ann. § 63-5-40 (2005) provides that a woman may breastfeed her child in any location where the mother is authorized to be and that the act of breastfeeding is not considered indecent exposure.
Under state law, an employee may refuse to work on Sunday without penalty. Discrimination is prohibited against persons whose regular day of worship is Saturday. Employing minors in a mercantile or manufacturing establishment on a Sunday is prohibited. Employees of retail stores with three or more employees must be granted leave to attend religious services, including one hour before the service to prepare and one hour after the service to return.
Whenever any of the legal holidays shall fall upon Sunday the Monday next following shall be deemed a public holiday and whenever any of the holidays mentioned in such section shall fall upon Saturday the Friday next preceding shall be deemed a public holiday for all of the purposes aforesaid. In such cases, all bills of exchange, checks and promissory notes which would otherwise be presentable for acceptance or payment on any such Monday or Friday shall be deemed to be presentable for acceptance or payment on the secular or business day next succeeding the holiday. Private employers are not obligated by state law to provide any holidays as paid (or unpaid) days off. However, most employers observe several paid holidays. State law generally prohibits the operation of business before 1:30 pm on Sunday, but numerous exemptions make the restriction nearly meaningless.
State law does not require an employer to provide an employee with vacation pay benefits. However, if an employer decides to do so, he must give notice of the policy to the employee, abide by the policy, and not discriminate in its administering of the policy.
South Carolina has no minimum wage law. That means eligible employees in South Carolina are entitled to the federal minimum wage. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour.
Tips & Gratuities
Employers of employees who regularly receive $30 a month or more in tips can claim a tip credit of up to $5.12 an hour; the minimum wage for these employees is $2.13 an hour. If an employee’s hourly average of tips plus wages is less than $7.25 an hour, the employer must make up the difference. If a state does not allow for a tip credit, or has a tip credit amount that is less than the federal tip credit amount, employers in that state generally must apply the state amount that provides employees the greater benefit. If an employer has a tip-back arrangement with employees, such that employees are required to give or credit their tips to their employer as gross receipts, these tips cannot be credited under the FLSA and the employees must be paid at least a full minimum wage.
There are no general or youth provisions regarding meal and rest breaks.
Employees may be eligible to take unpaid, job-protected, leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Please refer to main United States
page for further details on this Federal law.
South Carolina statutorily requires 15 work days per year for military leaves of absence. However, military leave is primarily governed by federal law. The federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) applies to all employers. The federal law prohibits employment discrimination due to an individual’s military service. Employers must grant all employees time off work for military duty and, upon discharge, an employer must return the employee to his or her prior position or one of “like seniority, status and pay.” In addition, once an employee returns from military service he or she is protected from discharge without cause for a specified period of time if they served in excess of 30 days. Specifically, service between 30 and 180 days requires a period of 6 months protection from discharge without cause. Service of more than 180 days garners protection from discharge without cause for one year.
Bone Marrow Donation Leave
Employers which employ 20 or more employees may grant paid leaves of absence to employees who seek to donate bone marrow. The length of paid leaves may not exceed 40 hours, unless the employer agrees to a longer period of leave. Employers are permitted to require verification by a physician of the purpose and length of each leave requested to donate bone marrow. An employer may not retaliate against an employee for requesting or obtaining a leave of absence to donate bone marrow.
Jury Duty or Court Attendance Leave
A South Carolina employer may not discharge or demote an employee because the employee complies with a subpoena to testify in court or at an administrative proceeding or to serve on a jury of any court. Dismissal of an employee in violation of the statute may subject an employer to damages limited to no more than one year’s salary or 52 weeks of wages in the amount the employee was receiving at the time of receipt of the subpoena. Damages for demotion in violation of the statute are limited to the difference for one year of salary.
Employers cannot discharge employees because of their political opinions or exercise of political rights.
Pregnancy Disability Leave
Employers must treat female employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions similar to other employees affected by temporary disabilities for purposes of receiving benefits under fringe benefit programs.
Pregnancy Accommodation Leave
Effective May 19, 2018, it is an unlawful employment practice for an employer:
- To fail or refuse to hire, bar, discharge from employment, or otherwise discriminate against an individual with respect to the individual’s compensation or terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of the individual’s race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, or disability; or
- To limit, segregate, or classify employees or applicants for employment in a way which would deprive or tend to deprive an individual of employment opportunities, or otherwise adversely affect the individual’s status as an employee, because of the individual’s race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, or disability; or
- To reduce the wage rate of an employee in order to comply with the provisions of this chapter relating to age; or
- To fail or refuse to make reasonable accommodations for medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of an applicant for employment or an employee, unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business of the employer; or
- To deny employment opportunities to a job applicant or employee, if the denial is based on the need of the employer to make reasonable accommodations to the known limitations for medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of an applicant for employment or an employee; or
- To require an applicant for employment or an employee affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions to accept an accommodation that the applicant or employee chooses not to accept, if the applicant or employee does not have a known limitation related to pregnancy, or if the accommodation is unnecessary for the applicant or employee to perform the essential duties of her job; or
- To require an employee to take leave under any leave law or policy of the employer if another reasonable accommodation can be provided to the known limitations for medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
- to take adverse action against an employee in the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment for requesting or using a reasonable accommodation to the known limitations for medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
State employees are allowed 30 days of paid leave for organ donation. (§8- 11-65).
Last updated on: February 7th, 2019