As the number of new reported cases continues to climb in South Carolina, employers in all industries are confronted with COVID-19 related challenges. Employers look to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) for guidance on issues associated with the pandemic, as well as other regulatory authorities, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Articles About South Carolina Labor And Employment Law
Executive Summary: South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has signed into law the South Carolina Lactation Support Act (SC Lactation Act or the Act), which requires all South Carolina employers to provide reasonable break time, paid or unpaid, and reasonable space to workers wishing to express breast milk while at work. The Act went into effect on June 25, 2020, and by July 25, 2020, the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission (SCHAC) will post on its website compliance information related to the Act. Employers must comply with the Act within 30 days of SCHAC posting this information.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster signed into law the “South Carolina Lactation Support Act,” requiring employers to provide employees reasonable unpaid break time, or paid break time or mealtime, each day to express breast milk.
The Act went into effect on June 25, 2020, and, by July 25, 2020, the
At a press briefing on May 11, 2020, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster announced that close contact service providers, fitness and exercise centers, commercial gyms, and commercial and public pools would be permitted to resume operations in a limited capacity on May 18, 2020.
South Carolina’s Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) issued a notice effective April 16, 2020, requiring all employers to provide employees with a Notification of the Availability of Unemployment Insurance Benefits upon separation of employment. The Notice can be provided in person, by mail, electronically, by text message, or in document form.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has issued Executive Order No. 2020-22, which allows employers to make voluntary “COVID-19 Support Payments” to employees who are placed on furlough because of the COVID-19 pandemic without those Support Payments affecting employees’ eligibility for unemployment benefits.
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: https://www.scribd.com/document/453080699/Charleston-Shelter-in-Place-Ordinance-March-24.
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 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
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.
South Carolina Supreme Court Employs Direct Benefits Test
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).
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.
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).
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.