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Last updated on: March 20th, 2024

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

The law in South Carolina does not impose a limit on the number of hours an employee may be required to work either in a day or a workweek.


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.


Time Recording Requirement – Employers are required to keep and maintain the records for three years, which is as follows:

    • name and identification number;
    • home address, including zip code;
    • date of birth (if under 19);
    • sex;
    • occupation;
    • time and day when the employee’s workweek begins; and other information concerning the payment of wages.

      In addition, the following information must be kept for non-exempt employees only: the regular rate of pay and an explanation of any payments not included; number of hours worked each workday and workweek; total regular pay; total overtime pay; and an itemized list of additions and deductions for each pay period.


South Carolina does not have its own overtime laws. Therefore, the state follows the federal Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA).


Threshold: Any work performed beyond 8 hours in a work week is considered overtime work.

Pay: An employee is entitled to premium pay at the rate of 1.5 times their regular rate for all hours worked excess in a workweek.


There is no requirement under South Carolina law for an employer to provide employees with breaks or a lunch period.


Breast Feeding Break – Employers are required to allow employees unpaid break time (or to allow employees to use paid break or meal time) to express breast milk.

Sunday Work

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.

Annual Leave

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.

Special Leave

Unpaid Leave
Employees may be eligible to take unpaid, job-protected, leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Please refer to the main United States page for further details on this Federal law.
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.
Voting Leave
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.
Military Leave

South Carolina statutorily requires 15 work days per year for unpaid 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.

Disclaimer: The material provided above is for informational purposes only and is subject to change. We endeavor to keep all material up-to-date and correct but make no representations about the information's completeness, accuracy, or reliability. Laws vary by jurisdiction and are subject to change and interpretation based on individual factors that may differ between organizations. The material is not meant to constitute legal advice and we suggest you seek the advice of legal counsel in connection with any of the information presented.