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City of Charleston, SC issues Emergency Stay at Home Ordinance

On Tuesday, March 24th, the City of Charleston became the first city in South Carolina to enact an emergency “stay-at-home” ordinance that goes into effect on Thursday, March 26, 2020, at 12:01 a.m. and scheduled to remain in place for two weeks. The ordinance is an effort to decrease proliferation of the COVID-19 virus. It applies only to the City and not to other unincorporated areas in Charleston County. A copy of the ordinance can be found here:

City of Columbia, SC Clarifies Coverage of Criminal Records and Salary History Ordinance

Last year, the City of Columbia, South Carolina enacted an ordinance that appeared to require substantial changes to private employers’ criminal record and salary history inquiry practices. At the time of enactment, the ordinance defined a covered “employer” as the “City, private employers and government contracts; and any person regularly employing five or more persons, any person acting as an agent of an employer, directly or indirectly; or any person undertaking for compensation to procure employees or opportunities for employment.” There was a disconnect, however, between this plain-text definition of “employer” and various other portions of the ordinance and public statements about the ordinance that otherwise suggested the City had actually not intended to cover private employers.

Columbia, South Carolina Limits Inquiries About Applicants’ Criminal and Salary Histories

Columbia, South Carolina passed an ordinance effective August 6, 2019,1 limiting employers’ use of criminal background checks and banning employers from inquiring about salary history on job applications. South Carolina’s capital city is the latest locality to pass such a measure, following several others that passed similar ordinances within the past year.2

South Carolina Abolishes Common-Law Marriage: The Impact On Workplace Law

The South Carolina Supreme Court just ruled that the state will no longer recognize common-law marriages. This decision will have a direct impact on South Carolina workplace law, requiring many employers to adjust their employment policies and practices.

Employers Beware: SC Abolishes Common-Law Marriage

On July 24, 2019, South Carolina joined the ranks of Alabama, Pennsylvania, and others in abolishing future recognition of common law marriages in the state. The state will continue to recognize all common law marriages in effect before this date, but they will be subject to a higher standard of proof. On and after July 25, 2019, all South Carolina marriages will require the issuance of a marriage license.

Can Arbitration Be Enforced Against Non-Signatories to a Contract?

South Carolina Supreme Court Employs Direct Benefits Test

Employee Who Fails Drug Test Can Sue Drug Testing Laboratory For Negligence

Can a drug testing lab be sued for negligence in South Carolina if it mishandles an employee’s drug test? Yes, according to a recent decision issued by the South Carolina Supreme Court with potential ramifications for drug testing labs, employers, and employees who test positive for drugs. Shaw v. Psychemedics Corp., Opinion No. 27869 (S.C. March 20, 2019).

South Carolina Supreme Court Opens Door to Holding Drug-Testing Companies Liable for Negligence

On March 21, 2019, the South Carolina Supreme Court answered a certified question that will impact third-party vendors under contract with South Carolina employers to conduct employee drug testing. In Shaw v. Psychemedics Corporation, the court held that drug-testing companies conducting tests on South Carolina employees owe a duty of care to those employees. Under Shaw, an employee may sue a drug testing company for negligence based on the company’s contractual relationship with the employer.

Drug Testing Laboratories May Be Sued For Negligence In South Carolina

The South Carolina Supreme Court held that laboratories who perform workplace drug tests on behalf of employers owe a duty of care to the individuals who are tested and may be sued for negligence for failing to properly and accurately perform the drug tests and report the results. Shaw v. Psychemedics Corp., App. Case No. 2017-002538 (S.C. March 20, 2019).

South Carolina Legislators Propose Pay Equity Law

Joining a nationwide trend, a bipartisan group of South Carolina legislators recently introduced bills in both houses of the General Assembly aimed at allowing applicants and employees to sue employers for unequal pay.
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