The South Carolina Human Affairs Law prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of disability (SC Code Sec. 1-13-10et seq.). Employers are prohibited from conducting medical examinations and inquiries except as provided under the law (SC Code Sec. 1-13-85). The law covers private employers with 15 or more employees and all state and local government agencies, regardless of size.
Applicant exams. The law permits an employer to require a physical exam after an offer of employment has been made and to condition the offer on the results of the exam, if:
• All entering employees are subjected to the exam regardless of disability; and
• Any information obtained is kept on separate forms and in separate files and is treated as a confidential medical record (SC Code Sec. 1-13-85(C)).
Employers are permitted to inform supervisors and managers of necessary restrictions on an employee's work or duties and necessary accommodations. First-aid personnel may also be informed if the employee's disability might require emergency treatment. If an employee's medical information is requested by government officials investigating compliance with the law, an employer must provide the requested information to the officials.
Employee exams. An employer may require a physical exam of an employee if the exam is job related and consistent with business necessity. An employer may also conduct voluntary exams as part of an employee health program available to employees at the worksite (SC Code Sec. 1-13-85(E)).
Information obtained from medical examinations must be kept confidential, on separate forms, and in separate medical files. Employers are permitted to tell supervisors and managers about an ...