You may have legal recourse if you have suffered discrimination on the job. Workers in these categories are safeguarded by federal and state laws that guarantee them access to safe and equitable workplaces. Regardless of your workplace, the Shelly Leeke Law Firm’s South Carolina employer discrimination lawyers can help you with your legal recourse.
Employment Laws in South Carolina
For an organization to operate legally in South Carolina, it must follow federal and state regulations. While the state generally follows federal law on issues like the minimum wage and occupational safety and health, South Carolina does have laws that provide greater protections to employees than federal law.
In addition to state and federal regulations, the employer must follow the rules imposed by municipal law that may impact the employment relationship. Businesses with 15 or more workers in South Carolina must comply with the South Carolina Human Affairs Law (SCHAL).
Here are some South Carolina employment laws related to discrimination:
- Employment discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and associated medical conditions), age, national origin (including ancestry), or disability is prohibited under the SCHAL, as it is under federal law.
- A South Carolina business can’t use an employee’s off-duty tobacco usage as a basis for any personnel action, including hiring, reprimand, or termination. (S.C. Code Ann. §41-1-85)
- Terminating an employee in South Carolina due to political beliefs or exercising their political rights and privileges is illegal. (S.C. Code Ann. §16-17-560)
- South Carolina employees have the right to reasonable accommodation during pregnancy and the obligation to provide coverage for smaller employers for health care.
It might be stressful and time-consuming to handle a complicated employment legal problem alone. Consult our employment discrimination lawyers in South Carolina if you have been the victim of unfair termination, harassment at the workplace, or the withholding of benefits or compensation. The first step to filing a case would be determining whether to file it under state or federal law.
Determining Whether to File Under South Carolina or Federal Law
State workers in South Carolina can file discrimination accusations in the workplace with either the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission (SCHAC) or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Both lead to compensation for victims. However, some think a federal case has a better chance of success. This preference exists mostly because South Carolina employment law restricts punitive penalties and compensatory damages, such as emotional pain and suffering.
However, federal courts have the authority to remove cases from state courts, even those brought in South Carolina but based on federal employment law. SHAC and EEOC work together to handle employment discrimination allegations under a work-sharing agreement. If the employee wants their claim to be cross-filed with the other agency, they must submit a complaint with both authorities.
Filing a Workplace Discrimination Complaint in South Carolina
The EEOC and the SCHAC have easy-to-use ways for people to file complaints, such as an online form. We will help you create your complaint and send it to the right place. After submitting paperwork to the SCHAC, expect a wait time of about 180 days.
Meanwhile, the EEOC gives further information on what occurs next:
- Your employer will be informed of the EEOC’s investigation within 10 days.
- The EEOC might suggest mediation based on its preliminary findings.
- In this scenario, you and your employer may agree on your working conditions via negotiation.
- The EEOC will launch an inquiry if mediation fails or is inappropriate. Up to 10 months may pass throughout this procedure.
- Your employer can either react to the complaint, engage in interviews, or refuse to cooperate with investigators.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will decide after conducting its inquiry. The outcome might be a trial or a negotiated settlement.
Filing a Lawsuit for Workplace Discrimination
The statute of limitations for bringing a claim for discrimination in the workplace varies depending on the nature of the offense. The EEOC may issue a Notice of Right to Sue sooner than 180 days have passed.
This notification is optional in certain circumstances. It’s possible to file a lawsuit against an employer for age discrimination 60 days after filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
To file a claim for discrimination in the workplace in South Carolina, you’ll need to follow the state’s specific procedural regulations, and our lawyers can help you do that.
South Carolina’s Time Limits for Reporting Workplace Discrimination
You have 300 days from the date of discovering discrimination in the workplace to file a claim in South Carolina. Your lawsuit can’t proceed unless you submit your paperwork within that time limit. However, additional deadlines make it preferable to submit as soon as feasible.
The SCHAC rules indicate that filing with that agency must be done no later than 180 days from the date of the discriminatory conduct. If you miss that date, you may still have another 180 days to submit a claim to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
An employer discrimination attorney in South Carolina can ensure you meet all deadlines. Other than deadlines, we would also assess the types of damages you can file a claim against.
Recoverable Damages in Employer Discrimination Case
The number of damages you might recover in such situations varies depending on the nature of the discrimination. You could typically get compensation for the following:
- The salary and benefits you would have received had you not been wrongfully terminated
- Benefits you would have received had you not been prohibited from returning to work due to prejudice
- Whether you were hurt physically or psychologically.
Employer Discrimination Cases Shelly Leeke Law Firm Represents
While this isn’t an exhaustive list, they are some of the most common employer discrimination cases encountered in South Carolina. If the nature of your case isn’t on this list, don’t lose hope. Contact us to discuss your case, and our South Carolina employment discrimination attorneys will help you all through.
Hostile Work Environment Cases
It is used to characterize workplaces where employees are just impolite or unfriendly to one another. However, harassment or discrimination against a person based on hostility is illegal. Two other criteria must be met to consider the case discrimination.
- That there is “severe and pervasive” harassment or discrimination.
- Management must have engaged in the improper behavior themselves or been aware of, or should have been aware of, the conduct.
refers to instances in which a person is fired from a job when they shouldn’t have been. Terminations often seem “wrongful” while being fully legal. South Carolina maintains an “at will” employment arrangement. The employee or the employer may discontinue the working relationship at any time, barring legal obstacles.
Employers may, however, still be held liable for any injury that an employee suffers as a direct consequence of discrimination or harassment in the workplace. Our employment discrimination attorneys will explain your legal rights and provide suggestions for enhancing your chances of success.
Let Our South Carolina Employer Discrimination Attorneys Represent Your Case
Most businesses are concerned with their profits and what works best in their interest. Their Human Resource divisions prioritize profit above fairness and ethics. It’s important to safeguard your rights if you suspect you’ve been the target of discrimination or harassment, such as collecting relevant documents like memos and emails.
Contact our South Carolina workplace discrimination lawyers for legal assistance before you file a claim against your employer. We analyze your case without any initial cost. Get in touch with Shelly Leeke Law now if you wish to discuss your case and better understand your legal rights.