Governor Henry McMaster recently signed a law that prevents political subdivisions in South Carolina from requiring private employers to provide employee benefits such as paid sick leave, paid vacation, and paid holidays. Senate Bill 218, effective April 5, 2017, added South Carolina Code of Laws Section 41-1-25, which states a political subdivision may not “establish, mandate, or otherwise require an employee benefit” regarding private employers.

In adopting this statute, South Carolina has fallen in line with those bucking the paid sick leave trend at the state and local level. While 7 states (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) and Washington, D.C., and at least 30 city and county governments have passed paid sick leave requirements, some states have sought to prevent local ordinances that would create compliance issues for businesses with employees in multiple local jurisdictions with disparate requirements, or in local jurisdictions subject to state and local requirements. 17 states have passed legislation banning local paid sick leave laws similar to South Carolina’s. These include Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon (except for employers with less than 10 employees), Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

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Leaves of Absence/Reasonable Accommodation

Managing leaves and reasonably accommodating employees can be complex, frustrating, and expose employers to legal peril. Employers must navigate a bewildering array of state and federal statutes, with seemingly contradictory mandates.

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