Payment of Wages

We have had many calls about the rights of employees when their employer doesn’t pay them. This article deals with one of the laws used to protect payment rights:

The South Carolina Payment of Wages Act applies to all employers except employers of domestic workers in private homes and those employing fewer than 5 employees during a year. Thus, this does not apply to people who work in private homes, or to people who work for an employer with less than 5 employees.

Under this law, wages includes all forms of compensation. It could be compensation for work done during a fixed period of time, work done to complete a single task, piece work or commissions. Paid vacations, holidays, or sick leave may be considered wages under this law if the employer has a policy of paying employees for that time.

Under the law, employers should:

  • Maintain records of the names, addresses, and deductions taken for each payday for 3 years;
  • Give to their employees a statement of that shows the quantity of their wages and any deductions;
  • Notify each employee upon hiring about the deductions that will be taken from your wages;
  • And pay all of the wages to a dismissed employee within 30 days.

Employers cannot reduce your salary without giving written notice 7 days prior. They may also not retaliate against you for having exercised your rights to your wages under this law. If you are affected by a violation of this law, you may file an Administrative Complaint with the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation by calling (803) 896-4470.

You also have the right to file a lawsuit and can recover three times more than the wages not paid, as well as attorney’s fees and court costs. If you think that South Carolina legal Services could help, call our intake line at 1-888-346-5592 to see if we can assist you.