This post will guide you through employee leave laws for businesses and workers located in the state of South Carolina.
Follow this guide to understand employers’ obligations for vacation time, paid time off (PTO), sick leave, parental leave, bereavement and more, along with state holidays observed in South Carolina.
This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.
Employers in South Carolina do not have to provide vacation time, paid or unpaid.
Use It or Lose It policies are not addressed by law in South Carolina, suggesting that employers are free to enforce such a policy if they wish.
The South Carolina Department of Labor states that company policy dictates whether or not the company is required to pay out unused vacation time, sick time, or holiday pay upon separation of employment.
That means PTO payout is not required, as long as the employer’s company policy states as much.
There are no laws requiring employers in South Carolina to provide paid or unpaid sick leave.
Besides any state laws or provisions written into employment contracts, employers in South Carolina must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which entitles eligible employees the right to take 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for serious health conditions, or to care for spouses, children or parents with a serious health condition.
The following official state holidays are observed in South Carolina:
|January 1||New Year’s Day|
|3rd Monday in January||Martin Luther King, Jr. Day|
|3rd Monday in February||George Washington’s Birthday / Presidents’ Day|
|May 10||Confederate Memorial Day|
|Last Monday in May||National Memorial Day|
|July 4||Independence Day|
|1st Monday in September||Labor Day|
|November 11||Veterans Day|
|4th Thursday in November||Thanksgiving|
|Day after Thanksgiving||The Day after Thanksgiving|
|December 24||Christmas Eve|
|December 26||The Day after Christmas|
There is no requirement to allow employees a paid or unpaid day off for state holidays, and employees required to work on state holidays are not legally entitled to extra compensation (such as higher pay or a compensatory day off), unless promised in their employment contract.
South Carolina has no laws requiring companies to provide maternity leave (paid or unpaid).
The FMLA does, however, entitle new mothers to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for the birth of a new child, as well as the placement of a new adoption or foster.
Paternity leave is not covered by South Carolina law either, but fathers have the same right to unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 12 weeks for the birth of their child, or a new adoption or fostered child.
There is no legal requirement to provide bereavement leave in South Carolina.
Employers in South Carolina do not have to provide paid time off for jury duty.
Employers in South Carolina do not have to provide voting leave.
Members of the South Carolina National Guard and State Guard are entitled to unpaid leave and reinstatement rights when called to active duty by the governor.
Federal Law (the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)) applies in South Carolina, which states that military service members receive up to five years of unpaid leave for military service, and upon returning, must be reinstated to the same position (or an equivalent position) as they had before their leave.
Anything not covered in South Carolina state leave laws is up to the discretion of the employer, such as whether or not to provide paid sick leave or PTO, or whether PTO rolls over from year to year.
However, if any benefits are laid out in an employee’s contract or company policy, employers must comply with what has been agreed in that document.
For example, if an employee’s contract states that they are to receive 12 days of PTO each year, the employer is legally required to provide this, even though paid time off is not required by state law.