With other states that have recently decided to change their workers’ comp system—such as Arizona, which we just talked about, and New York, which we talked about a month ago—add South Carolina to that list, almost. The House in South Carolina just passed a bill that would make important changes to the way that workers’ on the job injuries and disability are done in the state.
Some of the changes would include: an end almost to the Second Injury Fund, which has been a money loser for the state as of late. The Second Injury Fund was meant to help workers who had been previously hurt on a work site to get back to work, either at their original employer or at other locations of employment.
Another change: the law would make it so that employees have to prove that their injuries or illnesses had actually happened at work. The law would also make it more difficult for workers to make claims of workplace stress or mental illness and get benefits for it. Claims like these would still be possible but, again, there is more burden of proof on the workers to prove that the stress or mental illness related problems were directly because of work.
Last but not least of these important changes is one that has do to with repetitive stress injuries. The law makes it so that there are new limits on these types of injuries in terms of what workers can collect from the workers’ comp system in benefits for them. This is especially true for repetitive stress injuries that are often related to getting older, and not necessarily related to work.
All these changes are not settled of course. The House approved its bill, but the Senate version of the workers’ comp reform bill is different. So a compromise legislative session between the two houses will be necessary, according to my sources.
Employers in South Carolina are required by law to post the South Carolina posters that highlight the state and federal labor and employment laws. These posters need to be posted in a visible spot within an area where all employees have access. Possible places include the employee break room, work room, mail room or any place else that the employees tend to visit on a regular basis. In addition to choosing the best posting place, South Carolina employers must also make sure that their posters also contain the most current information because labor and employment laws change frequently (sometimes even yearly).
The South Carolina posters need to contain certain state and federal laws to be complete. The state laws that employers need to have posted are the Right-to-Work Laws, Payment of Wages, Child Labor, OSHA, Discrimination Notice, Workers’ Compensation and Unemployment Insurance. They also need to post the following federal laws: USERRA – Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law, Federal Minimum Wage, Employee Polygraph Protection Act, Family and Medical Leave Act and OSHA – Job Safety and Health Protection.
The posting requirements for the South Carolina posters have the primary purpose of giving the employees the information they need to know and understand their rights in the workplace as outlined by the state and federal laws. The laws also often have the information employees need if they want to file a grievance against their employer including which state and federal agencies they need to contact. Employers also benefit from the information on the South Carolina posters because they can use them to find out exactly what they need to do to uphold the labor laws that apply to them. They can also very easily reference the posters when they have specific questions about certain laws such as how many hours minors are allowed to work during the school year.