Pregnant woman at workThe South Carolina Pregnancy Accommodations Act, found here, was signed into law on Friday, May 18, 2018. The Act amends the South Carolina Human Affairs Law. In passing the legislation, the General Assembly stated,

It is the intent of the General Assembly by this act to combat pregnancy discrimination, promote public health, and ensure full and equal participation for women in the labor force by requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees for medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Current workplace laws are inadequate to protect pregnant women from being forced out or fired when they need a simple, reasonable accommodation in order to stay on the job. Many pregnant women are single mothers or the primary breadwinners for their families; if they lose their jobs then the whole family will suffer. This is not an outcome that families can afford in today’s difficult economy.
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Generic offer of employment with pen and glasses

South Carolina is an employment at will state. This means that, absent a written contract guaranteeing employment, employers are free to terminate employees at any time, without notice, for any reason (so long as that reason does not violate another law of course!). Conversely, employees are generally free to quit at any time without recourse.

So, most companies in South Carolina use the initial offer letter to convey the terms and conditions of an employee’s employment. The offer letter typically contains items such as job duties, hours, pay rate, and general benefits information. However, what is legally required to be provided? What are some optional items that should be considered?
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Workplace violence is high on every HR professional’s list of worst nightmares regardless of the source – an employee, former employee, angry customer, or random third party. Of course, there are a host of security measures employers can undertake in an effort to prevent or mitigate violent incidents on their premises. While there is no substitute for good security measures, we are occasionally asked about what legal steps an employer can take where it is concerned that a particular person may engage in violence or inappropriate behavior on the premises – for example, a disgruntled former employee, a customer who is obsessed with an employee, or an angry ex-spouse of an employee. Unlike some jurisdictions, South Carolina does not have workplace violence restraining orders that allow an employer to obtain a restraining order on behalf of an employee that needs protection. However, depending on the circumstances, there are some legal options an employer can take to help protect its employees.
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Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd’s Employment Group is pleased to announce the schedule for our upcoming Employment Law Seminars.
HR professionals are invited to join us for a program that will cover current issues in Employment law in a fast-paced, plain-English way. These complimentary seminars qualify for 3.0 hours of continuing education credit with CLE, SHRM and HRCI credits available.


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Following the April 3, 2018 YouTube workplace violence tragedy, many news sources reported that there were 500 workplace homicides in 2016, the most recent workplace homicide statistic from the Bureau of Labor Statistic. The Bureau of Labor report, found here, noted this was “an increase of 83 cases from 2015” and that the “2016 total was the highest [number of workplace homicides] since 2010.” The report also revealed that 409 (82 percent) were homicides to men and 91 (18 percent) were homicides to women.” Further, “homicides represented 24 percent of fatal occupational injuries to women in 2016 compared with 9 percent of fatal occupational injuries to men.”
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The 2018 federal appropriations bill signed into law on March 23rd includes an addition to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) stating that “[a]n employer may not keep tips received by its employees for any purposes, including allowing managers or supervisors to keep any portion of employees’ tips, regardless of whether or not the employer takes a tip credit.” The amendment also nullifies certain regulations issued by the Department of Labor in 2011, including regulations which prohibited an employer from using an employee’s tips as part of an invalid tip pool even where the employer was paying the employees the full minimum wage without utilizing a tip credit.
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According to the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”), the United States experiences a flu season each year. With this year’s flu season considered one of the worst since the 2009-2010 pandemic, many employers wish to implement policies to protect the workplace and wonder whether they can implement policies mandating vaccination for their employees. This desire is particularly present in healthcare because those employees are charged with protecting patient safety and more often exposed to patients with compromised immunity.
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Glassdoor, the website described as “Yelp for workplaces,” claims that 83% of job seekers in the United States read its reviews. For the uninitiated, Glassdoor is a website where anonymous employees and former employees comment on a company’s workplace – sharing information on topics such as salary levels, workplace policies, office politics, and much more.
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