South Carolina has its own law to define the state’s sexual discrimination law in the workplace: The South Carolina Human Affairs Law prohibits employers from making decisions about an individual’s hiring, firing or job conditions, terms or compensation based on that person’s gender. This law also includes discrimination against those who are pregnant or who have pregnancy related conditions.
According to the law, all employers who have fifteen or more employees are subject to the law except for Indian tribes and private membership clubs. Employees are those employed by employers as defined in the law except for people elected to public office and their staff members.
Those who feel their rights have been violated can file a complaint with the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act. You’ll need to fill out an Employment Initial Inquiry Questionnaire as well as addition forms depending on your specific incident. From there, the Commission will draw up a formal complaint which you will need to sign. The Commission will then send the complaint to your employer and give him or her a chance to respond to the allegations.
The Commission can decide whether you case should be mediated, investigated or transferred to the EEOC. If they decide to investigate it, an investigator will gather information and use that information to decide whether or not there is reasonable cause to believe that your civil rights have been violated.
If the investigator finds reasonable cause, you and your employer will enter a settlement phase. If you are unable to negotiate a settlement, the Commission will issue a “Right to Sue” letter so that you can take the case to the state courts.
Both employers and employees have to take the time to find out their rights and responsibilities when it comes to sexual discrimination in the workplace. To help with the process, employers should always keep posted a current South Carolina Complete Labor Law Poster.