Question

Can I sue my employer for unpaid wages in South Carolina?

Christy Ford Allen - Business Litigation - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Christy Ford Allen

Wills Massalon & Allen LLC
Charleston, SC
Phone: 843-727-1144
Fax: 843-727-7696

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Answer

In short, yes, you can sue for any earned wages that your employer has not yet paid you. South Carolina state law prohibits employers from withholding or diverting any portion of your wages without first notifying you, unless it is required or allowed by state or federal law. Some withholdings may be necessary for tax purposes, or may be a term of your employment contract.

If you think that you may have been denied a portion of your wages, first determine if this has been done so wrongfully. State law requiring the full payment of wages does not cover independent contractors, and does not apply to some employment terms. Vacation time, paid sick leave and holiday pay are aspects not determined by state law, but solely by the employer. Refer to your employment contract to see what payments you are entitled to.

If you have separated from your employer, you are still entitled to all wages earned to date. Your employer is required to pay you within 48 hours of your separation, or by the next pay period, which cannot exceed 30 days. If applicable, you may take legal action within three years of the incident and can receive up to three times the disputed wages, in addition to coverage of your legal costs and attorney's fees by the employer.

If you think that you may have a legal claim against an employer for unpaid wages, consult with a lawyer in your jurisdiction.

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