On May 17, 2018, the Governor of South Carolina signed the Pregnancy Accommodations Act, an amendment to the state’s Human Affairs Law.
The South Carolina Human Affairs Commission (SCHAC) has just released a major update to the Employment Discrimination notice, which includes information about the new Pregnancy Accommodations Act, as well as additional requirements of the Human Affairs Law.
Workplace Discrimination Protections
Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees based on a disability; religion; and pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, including—but not limited to—lactation.
Prohibited Employer Conduct
The list of protected discrimination categories has been expanded to include pregnancy and childbirth, or related medical conditions. Plus, the notice now clarifies that age discrimination applies to individuals over the age of 40.
Examples of unlawful discrimination against employees have been added to the notice. These include paying unequal wages, engaging in harassment or intimidation, and failing to hire or promote.
While the previous notice stated that employer retaliation against an employee for filing a discrimination claim was prohibited under the law, the new language includes complaining about discrimination, asking for an accommodation, and participating in a discrimination investigation.
Reporting Unlawful Discrimination
Updates to the Employment Discrimination notice include new information for employees on how to file a formal complaint of discrimination, which is required in order to launch an investigation.
Employees must complete a questionnaire (via phone, in person, or online at www.schac.sc.gov) so that an Intake Officer can assist them in filing a formal complaint.
The notice also warns employees that there are strict time limits for filing charges of employment discrimination, and so employees are encouraged to contact SCHAC as soon as possible when they believe employment discrimination has occurred.
Discrimination in Housing and Public Accommodations
In addition to discrimination in employment, the notice now includes information on the mission of SCHAC to eliminate and prevent unlawful discrimination in housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability; and discrimination in public accommodations based on race, color, national origin, or religion.
Written Notice Requirement
One last thing to note is that employers are required to post the new Employment Discrimination notice in conspicuous places at their business locations where notices to employees and applicants for employment are normally posted.
However, the Pregnancy Accommodations Act also requires employers to provide written notice to employees of their right to be free from discrimination for medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Written notice must be given to new employees on their first day of employment and to existing employees within 120 days of the law’s effective date of May 17, 2018. The Employment Discrimination notice should be used to satisfy this requirement.
We Make It Easy to Stay in Compliance
That’s all the news we have for you right now regarding South Carolina. If you order our OneSystem 1-Year Compliance Plan, you will automatically receive the updated South Carolina poster as soon as it is available. And because we provide free poster updates for mandatory changes, no matter how many occur during the plan year, you can always count on Poster Compliance Center to keep you in compliance.