South Carolina Termination (with Discharge) laws & HR compliance analysis

South Carolina Termination (with Discharge): What you need to know

South Carolina is an “employment-at-will” state. This means that either the employer or the employee may end the employment relationship without giving either notice or a reason. However, while this is true in theory, South Carolina statutes and courts have limited the traditional doctrine in some respects.
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When a person's employment is terminated, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, there are a number of questions that may arise. Some carry the risk of criminal and/or civil liability. The following subject areas should be considered:
A guidance document detailing required and recommended state and federal forms that should be provided to employees at termination is available.
Please visit this link.
Under the South Carolina Human Affairs Law, it is unlawful to fire employees because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), disability, or age (at least 40 years of age) (SC Code Sec. 1-13-10 et seq.).
Employers are also prohibited from discriminating against employees who oppose unlawful discrimination (SC Code Sec. 1-13-80(F)).
Both laws apply to employers with at least 15 employees.
As a general rule, if a federal, state, or local law grants employees the right to engage in an activity or to enjoy a benefit, employees should never be disciplined, discharged, or otherwise retaliated against for requesting or attempting to do so.
To list a few key examples, state law prohibits employers from discharging employees for engaging in the following activities:
Jury duty. It is illegal to discharge an employee for responding to a subpoena to serve on a jury or to appear as a witness (SC ...

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