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South Carolina Court of Appeals Weighs in on South Carolina’s Political Opinions Statute, Approves Discharge of Employee for Excessive Personal Use of Company Phone and Laptop

In Owens v. Crabtree, Opinion No. 5616 (January 16, 2019), the South Carolina Court of Appeals held that a company’s termination of an employee for using company devices, on company time, to oppose a local building project that the company had a financial stake in was valid and did not violate public policy. The holding (1) illustrates the benefits of a written company policy regarding the use (including personal use) of company devices/technology and (2) provides an example of a valid termination that did not violate South Carolina public policy.

South Carolina Contemplates Sweeping Pay Equity Legislation

Bipartisan bills introduced in both houses of the South Carolina General Assembly propose allowing workers and job applicants to bring suit against employers for pay inequality and wage secrecy.

South Carolina Legislative Update: Bills to Watch

South Carolina is not known as a hotbed of legislative action protecting employee rights, let alone creating new ones. However, several bills are pending in the state legislature that, if passed, would impact South Carolina employers by instituting changes to employment applications, the minimum wage, and credit checks, as well as expanding protections against discrimination.

South Carolina Law Amended to Allow Expungement of Certain Criminal Records

An amendment to South Carolina law allows individuals to have certain criminal records expunged following a successful court petition. This means that, among other things, a prospective employee would not be required to disclose on an employment application criminal record information that has been expunged. The new law, Act No. 254, becomes effective December 27, 2018.

South Carolina Human Affairs Commission Releases Pregnancy Accommodations Poster

The South Carolina Human Affairs Commission (SCHAC) has released its new workplace poster, revised to reflect certain changes required by the recently enacted South Carolina Pregnancy Accommodations Act.

Increasing Our Workforce: South Carolina’s Revised Expungement Law

In the current robust economic climate, employers are often faced with the inverse of the predicament they encountered only 10 years ago. In 2008, many businesses began drastically downsizing. Today, however, employers frequently find themselves asking, Where are the qualified applicants?

Bad Faith Actions in South Carolina: Will Attorney-Client Privilege Survive?

South Carolina’s attorney-client privilege protects against the disclosure of communications pursuant to which legal advice of any kind is sought by a client from a professional legal adviser, acting in that capacity. At the client’s discretion, such confidential communications are protected from disclosure by the client or the legal adviser except if such protection is waived. The only recognized exception to this time-honored privilege recognized by the South Carolina Supreme Court includes communications in furtherance of tortious or fraudulent conduct. South Carolina has long revered the sanctity of attorney-client communications. How, then, are we now faced with the potential destruction of that privilege if an insurer denies bad faith liability?

South Carolina Issues New Pregnancy Accommodations FAQs and Anti-Discrimination Poster

The South Carolina Human Affairs Commission (SCHAC) has published Frequently Asked Questions on the new state Pregnancy Accommodations Act. It also has published a new anti-discrimination poster that includes provisions required under the Act.

New South Carolina Poster Requirement

As discussed in our June 2018 Alert, earlier this year the South Carolina Legislature passed the Pregnancy Accommodations Act, which expands existing state law protections for pregnant employees and, notably, requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for “medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.” Pursuant to this new law, the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission has issued a new poster, which must be posted by all employers in South Carolina with 15 or more employees. The poster is available in English and Spanish.

S.C. Employers Required to Use New Employment Discrimination Poster

The S.C. Human Affairs Commission (SCHAC) has released an updated employment discrimination poster that summarizes the state’s new Pregnancy Accommodations Act as well as other provisions of the S.C. Human Affairs Law.