South Carolina Break Laws

March 1st 2024

Unlike some states in the US, South Carolina does not require employers to provide meal breaks and rest breaks. The lack of South Carolina break laws does not negate the importance of breaks during work or the provisions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Navigating employment regulations can be complex, particularly when it comes to ensuring compliance with state-specific labor laws. Hence, this article provides a detailed discussion of South Carolina’s break laws.

This article covers:

Rest Break in South Carolina

South Carolina does not have a state-specific law for breaks; employers must follow FLSA rest break regulations. If an employer provides rest breaks of 5 to 20 minutes, they must count it as worked time and compensate the employee.

Meal Break in South Carolina

Employers in South Carolina are not legally required to provide meal breaks to their employees. However, if an employer chooses to provide a bona fide meal break, they must follow the meal period provisions outlined by the FLSA.

It’s important to note that meal breaks are different from rest periods. During a meal break, the employee must be relieved of all work duties and given an uninterrupted, unpaid period of at least 30 minutes. If the employee is required to continue working during their meal break, then the employer must compensate them for the time worked.

Breastfeeding Breaks in South Carolina

According to the South Carolina Lactation Support Act, employers are required to provide nursing mothers with the following:

  • A reasonable amount of unpaid break time to express breast milk at work or shall permit the employee to use breastfeeding break concurrently with any break time provided.
  • An effort to provide a room or other location, other than a bathroom stall, near the employee’s workplace for the purpose of expressing breast milk in private.
  • The right to use breastfeeding breaks up to one year after childbirth.

However, if the following requirement may cause undue hardship on the operations of the employer, the employer may request an exemption from the South Carolina Department of Labor.

Break Obligations for Minor Employees in South Carolina

When it comes to child labor laws, South Carolina adheres to the FLSA breaks and meal period regulations. Hence, when it comes to break obligations for minor employees, it is the employers’ discretion to provide rest breaks and meal periods to their minor employees.

Learn more about South Carolina Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

When making this guide, we have tried to make it accurate, but we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up-to-date. We therefore strongly advise you to seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this guide. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred from the use of this guide.