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Employee Handbooks - Work Rules - Employee Conduct: South Carolina

Employee Handbooks - Work Rules - Employee Conduct requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Meryl Gutterman, Nukk-Freeman & Cerra, P.C.


  • South Carolina follows the employment at-will doctrine, which means the employment relationship may end at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all, as long as the reason is not illegal. See Employment At-Will Doctrine.
  • An employee handbook may create an implied contract of employment that alters the employment-at-will relationship. See Employee Handbook Exception.
  • It is unlawful to discharge an employee because of political opinions or the exercise of political rights and privileges. See Political Opinions.
  • When evaluating workplace conduct, South Carolina employers with 15 or more employees should keep in mind that South Carolina law makes it is unlawful for a covered employer to discriminate against an individual because of the individual's race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or disability. See South Carolina Human Affairs Law.
  • Under the South Carolina Homeland Security Act, employers must meet certain requirements in order to use an electronic, mechanical or other device to intercept oral communications. See Monitoring Employee Communications.
  • South Carolina employers may conduct drug and alcohol testing of their employees provided the employer maintains the employee's privacy rights. See Drug and Alcohol Testing.
  • Employers are prohibited from making the use of tobacco products outside the workplace the basis of a personnel action, including employment, termination, demotion, or promotion of an employee. See Tobacco Use.
  • Employers may prohibit employees from bringing weapons on the premises. See Workplace Violence.
  • South Carolina does not require that employers grant paid leave to employees for jury duty or witness service. See Employee Leaves