There is no South Carolina law requiring private sector employers to provide employees with paid or unpaid sick leave. It is important to remember, however, that if sick leave is promised, an employer may have a legal obligation to grant it. Some courts have ruled, for example, that policies published in employee handbooks may constitute implied contracts, which are binding and enforceable. Employers should regularly review policy statements made in handbooks or elsewhere to ensure that they accurately reflect current policies. If not, they should be changed, and employees must be notified of the changes.
Furthermore, employers must notify each employee in writing, at the time of hiring, of the hours and wages agreed upon, which include paid vacation, holiday, and sick leave time. Employers may also fulfill this notification requirement by posting the terms conspicuously in the workplace. Any changes in these terms (except for wage increases) must be made in writing at least 7 calendar days before they become effective (SC Code Sec. 41-10-30et seq.).