South Carolina Workers' Compensation laws & safety compliance analysis

South Carolina Workers' Compensation: What you need to know

Who Is Covered?

South Carolina employers with four or more employees and with an annual payroll of $3,000 or more must provide workers' compensation benefits for employees injured on the job.

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Exceptions. The following employees are not covered by workers' compensation unless the employer voluntarily elects to cover them:

• Corporate officers

• Casual workers employed outside the usual course of the employer's business

• Farm laborers and other agricultural employees

• Railroad employees

• Federal employees

• Employees of state and county fair associations

• People who sell agricultural products for producers

• Real estate brokers paid by commission who have executed independent contractor agreements

• Validly contracted motor carriers who own or lease their own truck or other vehicle

Employers may elect to cover exempt workers by filing a written notice to this effect with the Workers' Compensation Commission (WCC). Coverage becomes effective 30 days after filing.

Leased employees. The question of who has responsibility for workers' compensation coverage, the leasing or client company, must be settled by an agreement and a contract between the two entities. If the leasing company accepts liability, it must conduct a good-faith investigation of the client company's operation.

What Is Covered?

"No-fault" system. Workers' compensation is a no-fault system. Employees do not have to prove that the employer's negligence caused the injury. To be compensable under workers' compensation, the injury need only arise "out of and in the course of employment." In exchange for this guarantee of compensation, employees give up the right to sue for damages, and employers enjoy immunity from lawsuits by injured workers. However, there are a few key ...

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