South Carolina Emergency Closings laws & HR compliance analysis

South Carolina Emergency Closings: What you need to know

Effective June 1, 2012, evacuation orders issued by the governor of South Carolina are considered mandatory. Previously, such orders were considered voluntary. The change was part of a revision of emergency procedures under the state Emergency Management Division's state hurricane plan.
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The Emergency Health Powers Act (EHPA), part of the South Carolina Homeland Security Act, gives the state expanded powers during a public health emergency such as pandemic influenza or contamination from a biological terrorist act (SC Code Sec. 44-4-530).
When the governor declares a public health emergency, the state's powers include:
• Expanded investigatory powers regarding suspicious or unusual events
• Evacuation and/or closure of any facility if public health is endangered
• Disposition of property as necessary to prevent the spread of disease
• Destruction of property as necessary after court proceedings
• Extension or adjustment of workers' compensation
Quarantine. During a public health emergency, The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control may quarantine or isolate individuals or groups and/or close premises and limit travel to prevent the spread of disease. State and local police, sheriffs, and constables can enforce the orders. Those who do not comply with the quarantine can be fined and imprisoned.
Discrimination. Under the Act, employers are prohibited from terminating, demoting, or otherwise discriminating against an employee for complying with an isolation or quarantine order.
Leave. The Act does not prohibit employers from requiring employees to use sick leave or other leave during quarantines.
Failure to pay wages. Failure to pay ...

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