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Horton Law Firm Blog Must a SC Company Provide Paystubs to Employees?

 | Must a SC Company Provide Paystubs to Employees?

I regularly get calls from South Carolina employees about a company’s obligations to provide paystubs each pay period. For most large companies, this is a no brainer. Paper paystubs or electronic versions are regularly provided to employees without issue. But I often see this issue come up with smaller companies, which seem to struggle more with complying with certain legal obligations.

But that’s what the provision of paystubs is: a legal requirement under state law.

What Does the S.C. Payment of Wages Act Require?

Under the S.C. Payment of Wages Act, every company with at least five employees is required to provide employees with “an itemized statement showing his gross pay and the deductions made from his wages for each pay period.” See S.C. Code Section 41-10-30(C). That means that whenever the employee is paid wages, the company must provide the employee with a document or paystub showing how much was paid and what withholdings were made.

The Act does not specify whether the statement must be paper or electronic. Many companies these days provide paystubs via an online paystub platform or app. I recommend that employees maintain their own copies of all paystubs for their records, as sometimes employees lose access to those paystubs once they leave the company.

It’s also unlawful for an employer in South Carolina to withhold or divert any of the employee’s wages, unless the company is required to by state or federal law (such as an order for wage garnishment due to unpaid taxes or child/spousal support) or the company has given written notice to the employee about the amount and terms of the deductions. See S.C. Code Section 41-10-40(C). Wage garnishment should not occur until your company provides written notification to you of the garnishment.

What Happens if a South Carolina Company Fails to Provide Paystubs?

If the company fails to provide paystubs or an itemized statement of gross pay and deductions, then the employee can file a complaint with the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (LLR)(see the Complaint Form here). The Act specifically provides that when an employee makes a written complaint to LLR for a violation of the Act by the employer, then LLR will investigate the violation, and if the violation is established, LLR shall attempt to resolve the matter between the parties. See S.C. Code Section 41-10-70. If that doesn’t work, then LLR must give the employer a written warning for the first offense and give a fine of $100 for each subsequent offense. See S.C. Code Section 41-10-80.

If the company fails to pay the fines, then LLR can file a lawsuit against the company to recover the unpaid fines. See S.C. Code Section 41-10-90.

Takeaways for South Carolina Employees

South Carolina employees should be aware of their rights under the Wage Payment Statute. If a company fails to comply and provide paystubs, then the employee may file a complaint with LLR. Such complaints are protected against retaliation, meaning that if the company fires the employee for filing an LLR complaint, then the employee can sue the company for wrongful termination and seek damages such as lost wages.

Of course, if you are owed unpaid wages or unpaid commissions that the company refuses to pay, then you can seek out legal assistance from our office. Employees can seek up to three times the amount owed (treble damages) in unpaid wages or commissions, along with attorney’s fees and costs. Give our office a call today to discuss your legal situation in more detail.

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