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Bill Number: 4775 Ratification Number: 552 Act Number 463 Introducing Body: House Subject: Definitions for purposes of payment of wages
(A463, R552, H4775)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 41-10-10, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO DEFINITIONS FOR PURPOSES OF PAYMENT OF WAGES, SO AS TO DELETE THE REFERENCE TO SEVERANCE PAYMENTS IN AMOUNTS DUE AN EMPLOYEE BY CONTRACT OR POLICY IN THE DEFINITION OF WAGES; TO AMEND SECTION 41-10-30, RELATING TO NOTICE AND RECORDKEEPING FOR WAGES AND DEDUCTIONS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE NOTICE REQUIREMENTS EXTEND ONLY TO THE NORMAL HOURS AND WAGES AGREED UPON, DELETE WAGE INCREASES FROM THE NOTICE REQUIREMENTS, AND LIMIT TO THREE YEARS THE TIME DURING WHICH EMPLOYERS SHALL RETAIN THE NAME, ADDRESS, WAGE, AND DEDUCTION INFORMATION OF EMPLOYEES; TO AMEND SECTION 41-10-50, RELATING TO PAYMENT OF WAGES DUE DISCHARGED EMPLOYEES, SO AS TO DELETE THE REFERENCE TO WRITTEN NOTICE; TO AMEND SECTION 41-10-70, RELATING TO INVESTIGATIONS OF PAYMENT OF WAGE COMPLAINTS BY THE COMMISSIONER OF LABOR, SO AS TO DELETE THE COMMISSIONER'S AUTHORITY TO DECIDE DISPUTES; AND TO AMEND SECTION 41-10-80, RELATING TO VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES WITH RESPECT TO PAYMENT OF WAGES, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT A CIVIL ACTION TO RECOVER UNPAID WAGES MUST BE BROUGHT WITHIN THREE YEARS AFTER THE WAGES BECOME DUE, AND TO DELETE THE CRIMINAL PENALTY AGAINST CERTAIN EMPLOYERS FAILING TO PAY WAGES WITHIN TEN DAYS AFTER WRITTEN DEMAND.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 41-10-10(2) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(2) 'Wages' means all amounts at which labor rendered is recompensed, whether the amount is fixed or ascertained on a time, task, piece, or commission basis, or other method of calculating the amount and includes vacation, holiday, and sick leave payments which are due to an employee under any employer policy or employment contract. Funds placed in pension plans or profit sharing plans are not wages subject to this chapter."
Notification - recordkeeping
SECTION 2. Subsections (A) and (B) of Section 41-10-30 of the 1976 Code are amended to read:
"(A) Every employer shall notify each employee in writing at the time of hiring of the normal hours and wages agreed upon, the time and place of payment, and the deductions which will be made from the wages, including payments to insurance programs. The employer has the option of giving written notification by posting the terms conspicuously at or near the place of work. Any changes in these terms must be made in writing at least seven calendar days before they become effective. This section does not apply to wage increases.
(B) Every employer shall keep records of names and addresses of all employees and of wages paid each payday and deductions made for three years."
Payments to discharged employees
SECTION 3. Section 41-10-50 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 41-10-50. When an employer separates an employee from the payroll for any reason, the employer shall pay all wages due to the employee within forty-eight hours of the time of separation or the next regular payday which may not exceed thirty days."
Investigation of violations
SECTION 4. Section 41-10-70 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 41-10-70. Upon written complaint of any employee alleging a violation of this chapter, the Commissioner of Labor may institute an investigation of the alleged violation. If the Commissioner of Labor determines that a violation exists, he shall endeavor to resolve all issues by informal methods of mediation and conciliation."
SECTION 5. Section 41-10-80 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 41-10-80. (A) Any employer who violates the provisions of Section 41-10-30 must be given a written warning by the Commissioner of Labor for the first offense and must be assessed a civil penalty of not more than one hundred dollars for each subsequent offense.
(B) Any employer who violates the provisions of Section 41-10-40 must be assessed a civil penalty of not more than one hundred dollars for each violation. Each failure to pay constitutes a separate offense.
(C) In case of any failure to pay wages due to an employee as required by Section 41-10-40 or 41-10-50 the employee may recover in a civil action an amount equal to three times the full amount of the unpaid wages, plus costs and reasonable attorney's fees as the court may allow. Any civil action for the recovery of wages must be commenced within three years after the wages become due.
(D) The Commissioner of Labor shall promulgate regulations to establish a procedure for administrative review of any civil penalty assessed by the commissioner."
SECTION 6. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Approved the 7th day of May, 1990.