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Employee Discipline: South Carolina

Employee Discipline 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 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. Employers must conspicuously post a notice clearly stating that weapons are banned. See Weapons.
  • The South Carolina Homeland Security Act makes it a felony to use an electronic, mechanical or other device to intercept oral communications. See Monitoring Employee Communications.
  • South Carolina law prohibits employees from discharging an employee because of political opinions or the exercise of political rights and privileges. See Political Opinions.
  • When disciplining employees, South Carolina employers with 15 or more employees should keep in mind that South Carolina law makes it is unlawful to discriminate against individuals because of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or disability. See South Carolina Human Affairs Law.
  • Defamation claims may arise in the employment context, particularly when negative evaluations or job references have been provided by an employer. See Employer Liability Regarding Employee Discipline.
  • Public employees are protected by the South Carolina Whistleblower Act when reporting allegations of misconduct and wrongdoing by a public official or employee. See South Carolina Whistleblowers Act.
  • South Carolina has a whistleblower protection statute for public and private employees who report violations of statutes, rules or regulations regarding occupational safety and health. See Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) Whistleblower Protections.
  • South Carolina law contains additional provisions that have employee retaliation protections. See Additional Retaliation Protections.
  • Columbia has requirements pertaining to employee discipline. See Local Requirements.