South Carolina Pre-Employment Inquiries (Interviewing) laws & HR compliance analysis

South Carolina Pre-Employment Inquiries (Interviewing): What you need to know

The South Carolina Human Affairs Law prohibits employers from discriminating against job applicants based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age (40 years or older), unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the business. The law covers employers with 15 or more employees (S.C. Code § 1-13-10 et seq.).
Tobacco. South Carolina has a separate law protecting the rights of employees to smoke outside the workplace. The law prohibits employers from refusing to hire or promote, firing, demoting, or taking other employment action against employees for using tobacco products outside of the workplace (S.C. Code § 41-1-85). Therefore, employers should not make preemployment job inquiries regarding an applicant's use of tobacco products.
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Drug tests. The South Carolina Drug-Free Workplace Act (S.C. Code § 44-107-10 et seq.) requires employers that receive state contracts or grants in the amount of $50,000 or more to certify that they will provide a drug-free environment by following certain procedures. More information is available at the South Carolina alcohol and drugs testing page.
South Carolina statutes are available at
Additional information is available at
Last reviewed July 20, 2021.

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