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Employment Laws in South Carolina

Filed under Hiring Workers. Fact checked on January 30, 2013.

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Employers in South Carolina must conform to these state rules relating to the employment relationship.

Employee means an individual employed by an employer.

Employer means an employer of 15 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year or an agent of an employer, but does not include an Indian tribe or a bona fide membership club, other than a labor organization.

Prohibited Employment Discrimination

It is unlawful to discriminate in hiring or employment practices on the basis of an employee's or applicant's:

  • race
  • religion
  • color
  • sex (including pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions)
  • age (40 and over)
  • disability
  • national origin

A person cannot be denied the right to work based on membership or non-membership in a labor union or organization.

Smoking preference. Employers may not discriminate in hiring or employment against persons who use tobacco products outside the workplace.

Whistle-blower protections. An employee who believes that he or she has been discharged or otherwise discriminated against for filing a complaint or instituting a proceeding under the state's occupational safety and health law may file a complaint with the state's Director of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, within 30 days after the violation occurs.

Recordkeeping/Posting Requirements

Information obtained in a pre-employment medical examination regarding the medical condition or history of an applicant must be collected and maintained on separate forms and in separate medical files and must be treated as a confidential medical record.

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