South Carolina labor laws for salaried employees protect workers from illegal wage and overtime laws practiced by some employers. The laws are interpreted and enforced by local courts and employees at the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Employers who do not comply with the laws can receive fines and penalties.

Minimum Wage

Minimum wage for non-exempt salaried employees in South Carolina is the same as the federal minimum wage rate, which is $7.25 an hour as of April 2011. Although non-exempt salaried workers generally receive a standard weekly, bi-weekly or monthly paycheck the total amount of wages they earn during a pay period must equal at least $7.25 an hour. For example, non-exempt salaried employees who work 40 hours a week must receive at least $290 a week. Additionally, exempt salaried employees must receive at least $455 a week as of April 2011 according to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) laws.

Overtime Pay

Only non-exempt salaried employees are required to receive overtime pay in South Carolina. The overtime pay rate in the state is equal to one and one half times employees’ standard hourly wage. Employees must receive overtime pay after they work more than 40 hours during a week. To calculate non-exempt salaried employees’ standard hourly wages, employers must divide the employees’ weekly wages by the number of hours employees work during a week. Therefore, non-exempt salaried employees who earn a standard weekly wage of $1,500 and who work 40 hours a week will have a standard hourly wage of $37.5 an hour. When these non-exempt salaried employees work more than 40 hours during a week, they are paid at an hourly rate equal to $56.25. Exempt salaried employees are not required to receive overtime pay. Types of exempt salaried employees are executives, administrative professionals and outside salespersons who earn commissions.

Classifying Exempt Salaried Employees

Before salaried employees are classified as exempt from overtime pay, they must meet certain criteria. For example, they must perform work that requires advanced knowledge in a field of science or learning. Their jobs must also require them to make independent judgments that impact an organization’s policies, products, services and revenues. Additionally, employees who earn annual salaries equal to or above $100,000 are exempt from receiving overtime if they perform one or more duties as an executive administrative professional.

Terminated Salaried Employees

After salaried employees are terminated or resign from their jobs, they must receive wages they are due such as standard wages and overtime and vacation pay. Employers must pay the employees within 48 hours to 30 days of their last date of work. Bonuses and commissions are paid on dates outlined in company compensation and benefits policies.


Employees can sue employers who violate South Carolina’s labor laws for salaried employees. If employers lose the lawsuits, they can receive an order to pay employees up to three times the amount of back wages the employees are due. Non-compliant employers are also responsible for paying employees’ attorney’s fees. Employees have up to three years to file complaints with the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation citing that their employers withheld wages they were due.