South Carolina Salaried Employees Laws

January 29th 2024

Salaried employees refer to individuals who receive a predetermined fixed amount of compensation at regular intervals, such as weekly or less frequently.

The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the applicable laws and regulations that govern the rights and obligations of both salaried employees and their employers in South Carolina. It will cover various topics, including payment, break and leave entitlements, as well as the distinction between exempt and non-exempt employees.

This article covers:


Payment of Wages for Salaried Employees in South Carolina

The South Carolina Payment of Wages Act (S.C. Code Ann. § 41-10-30(A)) does not define a standard pay period. Nevertheless, employers must provide written notification to employees at the time of hiring, informing them about the time and location of payment for the agreed-upon wages and any deductions that will be made.

In South Carolina, the average annual salary for various positions ranges from approximately $45,456 for an Administrative Assistant to $172,817 for a Director. The average hourly pay varies from around $22 per hour for an Administrative Assistant to $50 per hour for an Attorney. State of South Carolina employees rate the overall compensation and benefits package with 2.9 out of 5 stars.

Salaried Employees Eligibility for Overtime for South Carolina

Many salaried employees and virtually all hourly employees have the right to receive overtime pay at 1.5 times their regular pay rate for any hours worked beyond 40 in a single week.

One of the most significant misconceptions about overtime pay is that salaried employees are not entitled to it.

While certain statutory exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) require an employee to be paid a salary, salary alone is not the sole determinant. Other criteria must also be met for the exemption to apply.

Therefore, even salaried employees may be entitled to overtime if the exemption requirements are not fulfilled.

For private employers, compensatory time in lieu of overtime pay is not allowed under the FLSA, except for public employers like government entities.

Additionally, employees cannot waive their right to overtime pay, regardless of any agreement with the employer. Even if both parties agreed to waive overtime pay, the employer is still legally obligated to provide it.

Exceptions to Overtime Exemptions for South Carolina Salaried Employees

Employers often inform employees that they are exempt from overtime, meaning they are not eligible for overtime pay. Determining the proper exemption status requires an individual assessment for each case.

In South Carolina, being exempt from overtime requires meeting several requirements beyond simply being a salaried employee.

The occupations that are excluded from the standard overtime regulations in South Carolina include:

  • Executive, administrative, and professional employees making more than $684 per week
  • Farm workers
  • Seasonal workers
  • Commissioned employees in the auto industry’s retail sector
  • Service establishments employees
  • Railroad employees
  • Taxi drivers
  • Motion picture theater workers

Learn more in detail about South Carolina Overtime Laws.

Time Tracking of Salaried Employees Hours in South Carolina

Salaried employees receive a fixed salary, eliminating the need for them to monitor work hours and enabling them to focus on their tasks within reasonable timeframes. However, maintaining records and timesheets of hours can be beneficial in situations such as unplanned absences, vacations, holidays, and sick days.

Furthermore, monitoring payroll cycles and ensuring compliance with overtime hours (if applicable based on company policies) can be meaningful. While it’s not mandatory, these records provide valuable information for salaried employees regarding tracking time off and compensation.

Explore further insights on time tracking for both salaried and hourly employees in the United States.

Leave Entitlements for Salaried Employees in South Carolina

In South Carolina, salaried employees have access to various types of leave. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for medical emergencies and family care. Jury duty leave is allowed, but employers may not pay for it.

Military personnel are entitled to unpaid military leave and job protection. Bone marrow donation leave is provided for eligible employees.

State employees can avail emergency response, sick, administrative, bereavement, vacation, and holiday leave. Additionally, state employees can take up to 2 hours off to vote, with pay covered by the employer.

Break Entitlements for Salaried Employees in South Carolina

Employers are not legally obligated, at the state or federal level, to offer meal breaks or rest periods to their employees in South Carolina.

However, if they decide to provide breaks, there are specific rules to follow. Rest periods of 20 minutes or less must be paid and considered as work time.

Meanwhile, meal periods, which should exceed 20 minutes, can be unpaid, but the employee must be completely relieved of their duties during this time.

Deductions from Exempt Employees’ Salary in South Carolina

Employers is South Carolina are restricted from deducting any part of an employee’s wages unless required or permitted by state or federal law.

Permissible deductions may include tax withholding, insurance premiums, debt repayments to the employer, and other agreed-upon deductions. The employer must inform the employees in writing at least seven days prior to the deductions taking effect.

However, South Carolina law does not address deductions affecting an employee’s exemption from overtime or minimum wage requirements.

Termination of Employment for Salaried Employees in South Carolina

South Carolina is an “at-will” state, which grants the flexibility for employers or employees to terminate their employment without the need for a specific reason.

This rule is applicable to private business employees, except when their contract states otherwise.

There are strict regulations regarding the final payment of wages to employees who leave their jobs, whether it be through voluntary resignation or termination.

The employer must provide the worker with all due wages within 48 hours or on the next regular payday, with a maximum limit of 30 days.

Failure to comply with this requirement could lead to legal action by the former employee, who may be entitled to triple the amount of unpaid wages along with court and attorney’s fees.

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 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 for use of this guide.