Wages defined. Under South Carolina law, “wages” are defined as, “all amounts at which labor rendered is recompensed, whether the amount is fixed or ascertained on a time, task, piece, or commission basis, or other method of calculating the amount (SC Code Sec. 41-10-10et seq.). It includes vacation, holiday, and sick leave payments that are due to an employee under any employer policy or employment contract.” Funds placed in pension plans or profit-sharing plans are not considered wages.
Employers must notify employees in writing, at the time of hire, of the normal hours and wages agreed upon, the time and place of payment, and the deductions that will be made from wages. Notice of deductions includes payments to insurance programs (SC Code Sec. 41-10-30). Textile companies must make weekly payments to their employees.
Wages may be paid in cash or by check (SC Code Sec. 41-10-40).
Direct deposit. Employers may deposit employees' wages directly into a bank or other financial institution, provided the employee is given a statement of earnings and withholdings. Any wage deposit plan adopted by an employer must entitle each employee to at least one withdrawal for each deposit, free of any service charge.
No deductions may be made from wages except deductions required by law, such as Social Security and income tax, and deductions that are authorized in writing by the employee and are for the benefit of the employee (SC Code Sec. 41-10-40).
An employer must pay a terminated employee wages due within 48 hours of the time of separation or on the next regular payday, which may not exceed 30 days (SC Code Sec. 41-10-50).