In Owens v. Crabtree, Opinion No. 5616 (January 16, 2019), the South Carolina Court of Appeals held that a company’s termination of an employee for using company devices, on company time, to oppose a local building project that the company had a financial stake in was valid and did not violate public policy.
South Carolina is not known as a hotbed of legislative action protecting employee rights, let alone creating new ones. However, several bills are pending in the state legislature that, if passed, would impact South Carolina employers by instituting changes to employment applications, the minimum wage, and credit checks, as well as expanding protections against discrimination.
In 2019, a number of states’ minimum wage rates will increase.
On May 17, 2018, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster signed the South Carolina Pregnancy Accommodations Act into law.
In U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Maryland Insurance Administration, No. 16-2408 (January 5, 2018), the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals addressed the application of the summary judgment standard to a claim brought under the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA).
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent articulation of a new test for joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets a challenging standard for general contractors and others that seek to minimize labor costs by subcontracting out work, and highlights the importance of carefully choosing business partners and subcontractors in order to avoid wandering into wage and hour violations.
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.
Effective January 1, 2017, 29 states plus the District of Columbia will have minimum wage rates that are above the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour. The District of Columbia will continue to have, as it did last year, one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country at $11.50 per hour until July 1, 2017, and $12.50 per hour after that date. With respect to state minimum wages, Massachusetts and Washington will have the highest minimum wages at $11.00 per hour effective January 1, 2017, with California close behind at $10.50 per hour (for employers with 26 or more employees), effective January 1, 2017, and Connecticut following at $10.10 per hour, effective January 1, 2017.