Break Laws in South Carolina 2023

Break Laws in South Carolina: Numerous rules are set forth by the legal system to guarantee that each employee's rights are upheld. The numerous laws governing salaries, safety requirements, and other areas of employment in South Carolina do not cover breaks as thoroughly. Employers must still abide by certain rules, though.

Break Law in South Carolina

There are several states, including South Carolina, that don’t have a specific statute on this subject.

No law in South Carolina grants workers the right to a break for lunch (or another meal) or the ability to take a little break during the workday. For any shorter breaks that are permitted during the workday, employees must be paid. But initially, businesses are not compelled to offer these breaks.

Of fact, there is no rule that forbids businesses from providing breaks. Many firms have a policy that permits employees to take breaks throughout the day because they understand that a person who is hungry and exhausted is not productive or friendly with clients and coworkers.

Despite how reasonable it may appear, companies are not obligated by law to provide breaks, at least not under federal law.

There are more protections for workers in some states. Many states demand that employers give employees food breaks, rest breaks, or both. South Carolina, however, deviates from this pattern. In South Carolina, employers are not required to offer either rest or eating breaks.

Meals and Break Laws

In South Carolina, there are no rules requiring employers to give their staff breaks or meal periods. The federal law exempts employers from providing either a meal interval or breaks.

But if an employer does so, breaks—typically those lasting a maximum of 20 minutes—must be compensated. Meal and lunch breaks, which are typically longer than 30 minutes, don’t have to be compensated provided the employee is allowed to use that time anyway they like. 

Break Laws in South Carolina

Other rules governing employee pay for waiting, resting, and travelling times are also contained in federal law. When it comes to the time spent sleeping, an employee who is expected to work fewer than 24 hours is still seen as “working” even if they are allowed to sleep during part of those times when they are not occupied.

A maximum of eight hours of rest may be removed from an employee’s salary if they work more than 24 hours straight on duty. However, this is only possible if a sleeping room is offered and the employee can get a minimum of five hours of sleep without interruptions.

Time taken for Travelling is paid or unpaid?

The issue of commute time, also arises in the context of working hours. As a general rule, time spent travelling to and from work during a typical day is not counted as paid work time. But if a worker travels while at work, that time must be accounted for as paid work time.

There are some circumstances in which waiting is considered work time and others in which it is not.

It is typically considered work time if an employee is permitted to accomplish anything of his or her choosing while awaiting the completion of another activity or while waiting on the job for a request for their services.

On the other hand, it is not typically seen as paid work time if an employee is waiting to be called from home or somewhere else, but has tremendous freedom to do as they want while on call (and has ample of time to answer the call).

Break for Breastfeeding

Certain companies are required by South Carolina labour regulations to make reasonable accommodations for nursing mothers, including more frequent or extended break times so they can express breast milk. Employers must also give workers a private location to express breast milk that is not a restroom cubicle.

For the workplace to count as a private location, the employer has no obligation to build a permanent, designated area. Employers are required to have fifteen (15) or greater employees who work every day for twenty (20) or more calendar weeks in the present or previous calendar year in order to be compelled to give employees nursing mother breaks. SC 1-13-30(e) and (t);

You must abide by your employer’s guidelines as an employee. A predetermined period of time for a break may be established by the employer in accordance with South Carolina labour legislation.

You are not abiding by the rules of your employment if you stay on during this break longer than you were permitted. In such circumstances, if an employer does not pay you for this time, it is not in contravention of South Carolina labour rules on breaks.

Employers are typically not compelled to pay their employees for breaks that last 30 minutes or longer. However, South Carolina labour law also prohibits employers from imposing any restrictions on how you spend your time during breaks.


Knowing your rights as a worker means you can exercise them with confidence.

A breach of South Carolina labour law on breaks occurs when an employer refuses to pay you for a lunch break during which you are still engaged in some sort of job.

If there are any potential breaches, you should report them to the US Department of Labor’s Hours and Wages division. Your accusations will be looked into by this government body, who may be able to recover back wages that were either underpaid or not paid at all.

You might want to look into hiring a private attorney if the government department rejects to represent you in relation to a break in South Carolina labour regulations.

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