In South Carolina, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. SC Dept. of Labor FAQs. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. SC Dept. of Labor FAQs. An employer is required to notify its employees in writing of any benefit policies. SC Statute 41-10-30, SC Dept. of Labor FAQs.
An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment. See O’Neal v. Intermedical Hospital of SC, 355 S.C. 499, 585 S.E.2d 526 (SC App. 2003).
An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year. See O’Neal v. Intermedical Hospital of SC, 355 S.C. 499, 585 S.E.2d 526 (SC App. 2003).
An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. SC Statute 41-10-10(2).
Neither South Carolina’s Legislature nor its courts have stated whether an employer is required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter.
An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time. See SC Statute 41-10-10(2); O’Neal v. Intermedical Hospital of SC, 355 S.C. 499, 585 S.E.2d 526 (SC App. 2003).
An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it. . See SC Code 41-10-10(2); O’Neal v. Intermedical Hospital of SC, 355 S.C. 499, 585 S.E.2d 526 (SC App. 2003).
South Carolina law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. SC Dept. of Labor FAQs.
An employer in South Carolina may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
South Carolina law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. In South Carolina, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays.
A private employer does not have to pay an employee premium pay, such as 1½ times the regular rate, for working on holidays, unless such time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws. If an employer chooses to provide either paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.
Visit our South Carolina State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of South Carolina as well as information regarding state laws governing holiday leave for public employers and employees.
Jury Duty Leave
An employer is not required to pay an employee for time spent responding to a jury summons or serving on a jury. An employer may not discharge or demote an employee who complies with a jury summons or serves on a jury. SC Statute 41-1-70
South Carolina does not have a law that requires an employer to grant its employees leave, either paid or unpaid, to vote.
South Carolina law does not require employers to provide employee bereavement leave. Bereavement leave is leave that is taken by an employee due to the death of another individual, usually a close relative. Employer may choose to provide bereavement leave and may be required to comply with any bereavement policy or practice it maintains.
Family and Medical Leave
South Carolina labor law relies solely on the federally mandated family and medical leave laws. South Carolina employees are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
South Carolina does not have state-level requirements for employers to offer medical leave to this date. With that said, employers can develop additional leave options for their employees to take in health-related situations.
Companies must follow any guidelines they have laid out in their contracts. Otherwise, employees can use the FMLA to get the leave they need for medical concerns.
Employees may use the Family Medical Leave Act in the following instances:
- Recovering from a medical condition
- Assisting a family member with a medical condition
- Helping a sick or injured military family member
- Bonding with a new child
To be eligible to receive leave under the South Carolina sick leave law, employees must meet specific requirements. These eligibility requirements include:
- Employees must have worked a minimum of 1250 hours the previous year
- Employees must be employed at their workplace for at least one year
- Employees must work in a location with 50+ employees within a 75-mile radius
When using the Family Medical Leave Act for medical leave, employees are entitled to 12 weeks off within 12 months. These 12 weeks are unpaid, but employees can opt to use their accrued paid leave. Also, the 12 weeks of medical leave renew every 12 months as long as employees continue meeting the requirements.
Military members in South Carolina are entitled to the same benefits that the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) offers, including:
- Employees have the right to continue group healthcare benefits for 24 months of their leave
- Upon return, employees must be reinstated to the same (or equivalent) previously held position
- Employees must receive up to five years of unpaid leave for military service (with exceptions)
Any member of the U.S. armed forces called to service by the governor must be given unpaid leave for service. Employers must accommodate the expediency of which employees must leave to fulfill their military obligations.
Additionally, if an employee is honorably discharged, they must have the same (or equivalent) position upon reemployment.
With that said, it is the responsibility of the employee to apply for reinstatement to their employer in writing. Employees must provide this document within five days of being released from service or duty-related hospitalization.