The South Carolina Human Affairs Law prohibits all public and private employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating in employment because of national origin (SC Code Sec. 1-13-10 et seq.). The term “national origin,” as used in the Law, refers to a person's place of birth or the place of birth of his or her ancestors. Under the state law, it is an unlawful employment practice to:
• Refuse to hire, discharge, or otherwise discriminate on the basis of national origin with respect to an individual's compensation or terms and conditions of employment.
• Limit, segregate, or classify employees or job applicants on the basis of national origin in a way that would deprive them of employment opportunities.
• Reduce the wage rate of an employee in order to comply with the Law.
• Discriminate against an individual on the basis of national origin in apprenticeship, on-the-job training, or other training or retraining programs.
• Retaliate against any individual who has made a complaint, testified, or assisted in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the Law.
• Publish an advertisement for employment indicating a preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on national origin, unless national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ).
BFOQ exception. An employer may hire an individual on the basis of national origin because of a BFOQ “reasonably necessary” to the normal operation of the business. Such situations are rare, however, and employers should be very cautious in relying on the BFOQ defense when making employment decisions.
Other exceptions. Differences in treatment are permissible, provided they are not the result of an intent to discriminate and provided ...