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South Carolina Prevents Local Municipalities From Passing Paid Leave Requirements

Governor Henry McMaster recently signed a law that prevents political subdivisions in South Carolina from requiring private employers to provide employee benefits such as paid sick leave, paid vacation, and paid holidays. Senate Bill 218, effective April 5, 2017, added South Carolina Code of Laws Section 41-1-25, which states a political subdivision may not “establish, mandate, or otherwise require an employee benefit” regarding private employers.

In adopting this statute, South Carolina has fallen in line with those bucking the paid sick leave trend at the state and local level. While 7 states (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) and Washington, D.C., and at least 30 city and county governments have passed paid sick leave requirements, some states have sought to prevent local ordinances that would create compliance issues for businesses with employees in multiple local jurisdictions with disparate requirements, or in local jurisdictions subject to state and local requirements. 17 states have passed legislation banning local paid sick leave laws similar to South Carolina’s. These include Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon (except for employers with less than 10 employees), Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

© 2020, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume VII, Number 104


About this Author

Matthew Johnson, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm, Labor and Employment Attorney

Matthew K. Johnson is a shareholder in the Greenville office and represents employers in all aspects of employment and labor law before state and federal agencies and in state and federal courts including, among others, matters under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 1981, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and similar federal and state laws....