The South Carolina Human Affairs Law prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of sex, pregnancy, childbirth, or any related medical condition. The Law covers employers with 15 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding year (SC Code Sec. 1-13-10 et seq.). Differences in treatment may be permissible if they are not the result of an intent to discriminate on the basis of sex, and are based on a bona fide seniority or merit system, a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or differences in work location.
Under the Law, it is an unlawful employment practice to:
• Refuse to hire, discharge, or otherwise discriminate on the basis of sex 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 sex 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 sex in apprenticeship, on-the-job training, or other training or retraining programs.
• 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).
Bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exception. An employer may hire an individual on the basis of sex if a BFOQ is reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the business (for example, hiring a female to model women's clothing). Such situations are rare, however, and employers should be cautious in relying on the BFOQ ...