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Payment of Wages: South Carolina

Payment of Wages requirements for other states

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

Author: Vicki M. Lambert, The Payroll Advisor


  • The term wages is broadly defined in the South Carolina wage payment law. See Definition of Wages.
  • All South Carolina employers must pay employees' wages in cash, or by negotiable check or warrant showing the pay date. Direct deposit is permitted if certain conditions are met. Civil penalties are imposed on employers that fail to pay wages as required by law. See Wage Payment Methods.
  • South Carolina law requires most employers to notify each employee in writing, at the time they are hired, of the normal hours and wages agreed upon, the time and place of payment and the deductions that will be made from the wages. Any changes in the terms (excluding pay increases) must be made in writing at least seven calendar days before they become effective. Penalties are imposed for noncompliance. See Pay Frequency.
  • South Carolina employers may not make deductions from employees' wages unless they are required by law or the employer has notified the employee about them in writing. See Permitted and Prohibited Wage Deductions.
  • Most South Carolina employers must provide each employee with an itemized statement for each pay period showing the employee's gross pay and any deductions made. See Pay Statement Requirements.
  • Terminated employees must be paid all wages due within 48 hours of the day of termination, or on the next regularly scheduled payday, but no longer than 30 days after termination. See Final Pay.
  • Employers that are holding wages that have been unclaimed by an employee for at least one year are required to notify the affected employee, and file a report with, and remit the unclaimed amount to, the state Treasury Department within a certain annual time period. Penalties are imposed for noncompliance. See Unclaimed Wages.