Payroll and Benefits Guide United States – South Carolina

Last updated: Apr 04, 2023

United States Dollar (USD)
Employer Taxes
Payroll Frequency
Employee Costs
Date Format
Fiscal Year
1 January- 31 December



Employer Payroll Contributions

0.06% – 5.46% (maximum taxable wages is 14,000 USD) Unemployment Insurance (state)
0.55% Unemployment- New Employer (state)
6.20% (maximum taxable wages is 147,000 USD FICA Social Security (federal)
1.45% FICA Medicare (federal)
0.60% – 6.00% (maximum taxable wages is 7,000 USD) The FUTA (Federal Unemployment Tax Act) tax rate is 6.0% with a taxable wage base of 7,000 USD. However, if states operate their unemployment insurance programs in compliance with federal law then the FUTA tax is reduced (credit) by 5.4% to 0.6%.
8.86%-19.66% Total Employment Cost


Employee Payroll Contributions

7.65% – 8.55% Total Employee Cost
6.20% FICA Social Security (Federal)
1.45% FICA Medicare (Federal)
0.90% Additional tax on earnings over 200,000 USD (High-income earners also pay an additional 0.90% in Medicare taxes)


Employee Income Tax

State Employee Income Tax
State Tax – Single
0.00% Up to 2,980.00 USD
3.00% 2,980.01 USD – 5,960.00 USD
4.00% 5,960.01 USD – 8,940.00 USD
5.00% 8,940.01 USD – 11,920.00 USD
6.00% 11,920.01 USD to 14,900.00 USD
7.00% 14,900.01 USD and over
Standard Deduction and Personal Exemption
Single 12,550.00 USD
Couple /Married Filing Jointly 25,100.00 USD
Personal exemption
Single N/A
Couple /Married Filing Jointly N/A
Dependent 4,260.00 USD
Federal Employee Income Tax
Federal Tax – Singles
10.00% Up to 10,275 USD
12.00% 10,276 USD to 41,775 USD
22.00% 41,776 USD to 89.075 USD
24.00% 89,076 USD to 170,050 USD
32.00% 170,051 USD to 215,950 USD
35.00% 215,951 USD to 539,900 USD
37.00% 539,901 USD or more
Federal Tax – Married, filing jointly
10.00% Up to 20,550 USD
12.00% 20,551 USD to 83,550 USD
22.00% 83,551 USD to 178,150 USD
24.00% 178,151 USD to 340,100 USD
32.00% 340,101 USD to 431,900 USD
35.00% 431,901 USD to 647,850 USD
37.00% 647,851 USD or more
Federal Tax – Heads of Households
10.00% Up to 14,650 USD
12.00% 14,651 USD to 55,900 USD
22.00% 55,901 USD to 89,050 USD
24.00% 89,051 USD to 170,050 USD
32.00% 170,051 USD to 215,950 USD
35.00% 215,951 USD to 539,900 USD
37.00% 539,901 USD or more
Standard Deduction and Personal Exemption
12,950.00 USD Single
25,900.00 USD Married Filing Jointly
19,400.00 USD Head of Household

Minimum Wage


South Carolina’s minimum wage is followed by the federal minimum wage which is set at 7.25 USD per hour.

There are also other minimum wage requirements:

  • Minimum cash wage (tipped employee): 2.13 USD per hour
  • Maximum tip credit: 5.12 USD per hour
  • Youth minimum wage: 4.25 USD per hour


Payroll Cycle

In general, employees are paid semi-monthly and monthly.

13th Salary

There are no provisions in the law regarding 13th salaries.

Working Hours


In South Carolina, a workweek consists of 40 hours or 8 hours per day.


South Carolina adheres to the Fair Labour Standards Act (FLSA) and overtime is paid when an employee works more than the 40-hour standard workweek. Overtime hours are paid at the rate of 150% of the regular salary rate. Similarly, if an employee is scheduled to work on weekends or rest days, no additional payment is required.

However, should an employer request that an employee work in exceptional circumstances on these days, then overtime is paid at the rate of 150% of the regular salary rate.

Working Week



Paid Time Off

South Carolina does not have any state laws that mandate paid time off.  However, it is common for employers to decide whether to offer paid or unpaid vacation leave.  This must comply with employment law and must be stipulated in the collective bargaining agreements.

Public Holidays

There are 16 official holidays.

Sick Days

Sick leave falls under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which provides leave for an employee with a serious health condition that makes them unable to perform the essential functions of their job.

It is common for an employer to follow the FMLA which provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for certain family and medical reasons (maternity leave, serious illnesses, or if the employee needs to care for a spouse or child).

Employees are eligible for FMLA if they have worked for their employer for at least one year, completed a minimum of 1,250 hours over the past year, and worked at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles.

Maternity Leave

Maternity leave falls under the FMLA (see sick leave) which allows a mother:

  • Twelve working weeks of leave in any one year for a child’s birth and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth.



Paternity Leave

Paternity leave falls under the FMLA (see sick leave), which allows fathers:

  • Twelve working weeks of leave in any one year for a child’s birth and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth.

Parental Leave

Parental leave falls under the FMLA (see sick leave), which allows for:

  • Leave for the adoption or foster care of a child and care for the newly placed child within one year of placement.
  • Any qualifying necessity arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty.”

Other Leave

Leave for the care of an employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a severe health condition falls under the FMLA (see sick leave).

Alternatively, an employee may take 26 working weeks of leave during a single one-year period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the service member’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).

Other leave under South Carolina law includes:

  • Fulltime employees are entitled to job-protected, unpaid leave jury duty or as a witness in a case, responding to a subpoena, or acting as a plaintiff or defendant in the courts. Employees must provide a copy of the jury summons to the employer as evidence of requirement.


Termination Process

Except in mass dismissals or as provided for in an employment contract or a collective bargaining agreement, U.S. law does not impose a formal notice period to terminate an individual employment relationship, and employment is stipulated “at will.”

This means that either the employer or the employee may end the employment relationship without giving either notice or reason, provided it is not illegal, notable discrimination on the grounds of a category protected by law, etc., and as per the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN).

The employment contracts of executives and other highly skilled individuals often incorporate a “just cause termination” clause which mandates that the employer may only terminate the employee for “cause” and lists the permissible grounds. In such cases, the parties negotiate the foundations for a “just cause” termination.

Notice Period

In South Carolina, most employees are employed “at-will,” and either party can terminate the employment relationship without notice. In South Carolina, payout of unused vacation time is not required by law. However, employers will generally pay an employee for unused vacation days, provided the employee gave some advanced notice of resignation. While there is no official notice period general practice is 2 weeks.

In mass dismissal cases the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) must be followed, and employers must give 60 days’ notice to impacted employees.

Severance Pay

Except as otherwise provided in an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement, employers are not required to give severance pay. Employers who offer severance need to have the provisions within the employee’s contract and both parties must agree to this. Many employers choose to provide severance payments based on the employee’s length of employment.

Probation Period

There are no provisions in the law regarding probation periods. However, it is common practice for employers to set a performance evaluation after an initially stated period of employment of 90 days.



Foreign nationals without permanent resident status or a work visa are not permitted to work in the United States. An employer seeking to hire a foreign national may file a petition with the United States Department of Homeland Security or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for an employment visa on behalf of the prospective employee.

If the petition is approved, the prospective employee must obtain a visa stamp from a United States embassy or consulate (Canadian citizens are exempt from this requirement).  To get a temporary U.S. work visa, an employer must file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An approved petition must be part of the visa request.

The types of visas include:

  • H-1B: For applicants with a college degree hired to do specialized work. The visa is valid for three years and can be extended for an additional three years. The visa is connected to the employer that filed the petition. If there is a change of employer, the new employer must repeat the process. There are 65,000 H-1B visas available each year.
  • H-1B1: For applicants with a college degree from Chile and Singapore. The US government grants up to 1,400 visas to Chilean citizens and 5,400 from Singapore each year.
  • H-2A:  For temporary or seasonal agriculture work. It is limited to citizens of qualified countries. Usually valid for up to 1 year and can be extended to a maximum of 3 years.
  • H-2B: For temporary non-agricultural work. These visas are limited to citizens of qualified countries. Usually valid for up to 1 year and can be extended to a maximum of 3 years.
  • L: For intercompany transfers (people transferred from a foreign company to a US branch of the company). The applicant must have been employed at the company for a year before the transfer and work in a managerial level position or higher with specialized knowledge.
  • O: For people with extraordinary abilities in science, arts, education, business, or athletics.

The standard procedure is to obtain a short-term work visa and then apply for an immigrant visa after the employee has started working in the United States.

For those seeking employment-based immigrant visas:

  • E-1: Highest priority employment for those with extraordinary ability in science, arts, education, business, and athletics
  • E-2: For those with advanced degrees or exceptional ability
  • E-3: For skilled workers and professionals, as well as unskilled workers
  • E-4: Members of certain immigrant groups
  • E-5: Immigrant investors in US companies (substantial investment)

Alternatively, an employer may sponsor a potential employee’s application for permanent resident status, referred to as a “green card” if the employee can establish that the potential employee is a multinational executive or manager transferee, has unique skills, or has been offered a job in the United States. The employer must have been unable to recruit a U.S. worker who meets the position’s minimum requirements.

All employers are obligated to verify that all individuals they employ are authorized to work in the United States.



South Carolina has a minimum sales tax rate of 7.491% (state tax is 6.00% and local tax is between 0% and 3%).

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Version History

February 20, 2022
Payroll contributions and personal income tax rates have been updated.

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Payroll and Benefits Guide
in United States – South Carolina

What’s covered in this guide:

  • Employer/employee contributions
  • Minimum wage
  • Working hours
  • Visa requirements

And more...

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Public Holidays Calendar

United States – South Carolina 2023
Day Date Holiday Notes
Sunday Jan-1 New Year's Day
Monday Jan-16 Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday Feb-20 Presidents Day
Monday May-29 Memorial Day
Monday Jun-19 Juneteenth Independence Day
Tuesday Jul-4 Independence Day July
Monday Sep-4 Labor Day
Monday Oct-9 Columbus Day
Friday Nov-10 Veteran's Day
Thursday Nov-23 Thanksgiving Day
Monday Dec-25 Christmas Day