What are the requirements relating to advertising open positions?

South Carolina does not have a state-specific law relating to the requirements of advertising open positions. However, it is unlawful for an employer to indicate a preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, or disability when it is not a bona fide occupational qualification for employment. S.C. Code Ann. § 1-13-80(G).

Background checks

(a)Criminal records and arrests

In general, employers may obtain an applicant’s or employee’s prior criminal history, unless it is a sealed record. S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 73-23(E). Based on the criminal history, employers may consider an applicant’s criminal convictions in making employment decisions however federal law requires that any decision on the basis of a criminal record be job related and consistent with business necessity, considering the nature of harm, time elapsed and duties of the job in question. In addition, several South Carolina statutes require background checks for particular professions, such as nurses, appraisers, and teachers.

(b)Medical history

Employers may conduct pre-employment inquiries about medical history only as it relates to the applicant’s ability to perform job-related duties. S.C. Code Ann. § 1-13-85(B). In making these inquiries an employer may not conduct a medical examination, or make inquiries as to an applicant’s disability, or the nature or severity of the disability. S.C. Code Ann. § 1-13-85(B). However, an employer may require a medical examination after an offer of employment has been made to a job applicant and condition an offer of employment on the results, so long as all entering employees are subject to the examination regardless of disability. S.C. Code Ann. § 1-13-85(C). However, it is important to be aware that physical assessments are highly scrutinized under the ADA. 

(c)Drug screening

South Carolina law does not prohibit nor require pre-employment drug screenings. However, employers that receive grants or contracts from state agencies, are subject to the Drug-Free Workplace Act. Although the Act places specific duties on employers, the Act does not require drug screenings. S.C. Code Ann. § 44-107-30. Although not specified under state law, the federal law provides that employees performing safety-sensitive jobs duties, like transportation, are required to have pre-employment drug screenings.

(d)Credit checks

South Carolina does not have a state-specific law pertaining to Credit Checks, therefore South Carolina adheres to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.

(e)Immigration status

In addition to applicable federal immigration law, private and public employers in South Carolina are subject to the South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act. Employers in South Carolina are required to use E-Verify. The Act also requires all private employers to verify the work authorization of every new employee within three business days after employing a new employee. S.C. Code Ann. § 41-8-100; S.C. Code Ann. § 41-8-20(B).

(f)Social media

South Carolina does not have a state-specific law pertaining to the use of social media in background checks.



Wage and hour


What are the main sources of wage and hour laws in your state?

The main source of wage and hour laws exist under the South Carolina Payment of Wage Act and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

What is the minimum hourly wage?

The minimum hourly wage in South Carolina is $7.25. State law prohibits local governments from establishing a minimum wage that exceeds the minimum wage set by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. S.C. Code Ann. § 6-1-130.

What are the rules applicable to final pay and deductions from wages?

Upon termination, for any reason, the employer must pay all wages to the employee either within 48 hours of the termination or by the next regular payday, which must not exceed thirty days. S.C. Code Ann. § 41-10-50. Employers may not withhold amounts owed assuming there is a dispute as to those amounts. The term “wages” includes, vacation, holiday, and sick leave payments which are due under an employer policy or employment contract. S.C. Code Ann. § 41-10-10. Specifically, upon the termination of a sales representative, the employer must pay any commissions that have or will accrue under the contract to the sales representative. S.C. Code Ann. § 39-65-20. All employers must notify each employee in writing the deductions that will be made from the wages, including payments to insurance programs. Any changes to the deductions must be made in writing at least seven days before the deductions become effective. S.C. Code Ann. § 41-10-30(A). Payroll deductions without written consent violate the State’s Payment of Wages Act.  

Hours and overtime

What are the requirements for meal and rest breaks?

South Carolina does not have a state-specific law pertaining to the requirements for meal and rest breaks.  

What are the maximum hour rules?

South Carolina does not have a state-specific law pertaining to maximum hour rules, except under Child Labor laws.

How should overtime be calculated?

South Carolina does not have a state-specific law for the calculation of overtime. However, under the federal Fair Labor and Standards Act, employers must pay non-exempt employees overtime compensation of at least 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 hours in a given workweek. 29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1).

What exemptions are there from overtime?

South Carolina follows the federal Fair Labor and Standards Act, which states that sales professionals, salaried professionals, executives, and employees who are primarily administrative are exempt from overtime payment.

Record keeping

What payroll and payment records must be maintained?

All employers must keep records of names and addresses of all employees, including the wages paid each payday and deductions made for three years. S.C. Code Ann. § 41-10-30(B)-(C). In addition, every employer must preserve, for each individual employed during each pay period, for five years the following: individuals name and Social Security number; if less than full-time, the number of hours worked each week; wages paid for employment; reasonable cash value of remuneration paid by the employer in any medium other than cash; and date of hire, rehire, return to work, date and reason for termination. S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 47-14.