While many decisions regarding schedules and salary are up to individual employers, federal and state governments enforce wage and hour laws to protect the rights of employers and employees. South Carolina primarily relies on federal labor laws rather than creating its own. Many of these are covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor administers. This law covers issues such as overtime and minimum wages, child labor and work hour regulations.
Minimum Wage in South Carolina
South Carolina does not have its own minimum wage law. Therefore, employers must abide by the minimum set by federal law, which is $7.25 per hour. For teenage workers, they may be paid $4.25 per hour for the first 90 days. After that time has passed, they are eligible for minimum wage.
Minimum Wage of Tipped Workers: Federal regulations apply to the payment of tipped workers in South Carolina. An employee who typically makes at least $30 in tips during a month is considered a tipped employee. In this case, the minimum hourly wage is set at $2.13. The employer still has an obligation to ensure the employee receives $7.25 per hour, but all tips the employee is given contribute to that compensation.
Does Minimum Wage Apply to Me: The minimum wage law covers many public and private employers of full- and part-time workers. However, there are quite a few employees who are exempt from receiving the minimum wage. For example, professional employees such as teachers are not covered by the federal minimum wage law, and amusement parks and other seasonal employers may not be required to pay the minimum wage, depending on certain criteria. The exemptions are limited and have extremely specific requirements, so it is essential for an employer to pay close attention to any that may be applicable.
When Are Raises Required: Only a bill passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by the President can raise the federal minimum wage. Employers in South Carolina may set their own policies for any raises above that of the law.
Work Hours in South Carolina
There are no state or federal laws regarding how many hours employees may work each week, unless they are under the age of 20. Work hour restrictions for teens are based on their age and other factors, such as school sessions and type of employment.
According to the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, employers in certain industries may hire teens as young as 14 years old to perform certain tasks. Younger minors may be hired to deliver papers, perform in show business or work for their parents. Other exemptions may also apply.
Paying Overtime: The FLSA states that employees must be paid $10.875 for every hour worked past 40 during the work week. This period includes seven consecutive 24-hour days, but they do not necessarily have to be a calendar week.
Guaranteed Breaks and Meals: There is no requirement under South Carolina law for an employer to provide employees with breaks or a lunch period.
Paid Time-off and Sick Pay: An employer in South Carolina is not bound by law to provide paid sick leave and vacation days. A company that has a policy in place regarding these benefits must abide by it without discrimination.
Notice Period for Employee Termination: An employer may not terminate an employee based on discrimination or retaliation. However, employers and employees do not need a reason to end employment under South Carolina’s employment-at-will law.
Plant Closings & Layoffs: Federal law governs employee notification of mass layoffs and plant closings under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. A company in South Carolina that employs at least 100 full-time workers must notify those affected by a layoff or closing 60 days before the event occurs.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.