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In May 2018, Gov. Henry McMaster signed the South Carolina Pregnancy Accommodations Act into law to combat pregnancy discrimination and require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees for medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. The Act requires cities to notify new employees of their right to be free from discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. Cities were required to notify current employees of the law by September 14, 2018.

Effective May 17, 2018, it is unlawful to

  • fail or refuse to make reasonable accommodations for medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions of an applicant for employment or an employee, unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business of the employer;
  • deny employment opportunities to a job applicant or employee, if the denial is based on the need of the employer to make reasonable accommodations to the known limitations for medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of an applicant for employment or an employee;
  • require an applicant for employment or an employee affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions to accept an accommodation that the applicant or employee chooses not to accept, if the applicant or employee does not have a known limitation related to pregnancy, or if the accommodation is unnecessary for the applicant or employee to perform the essential duties of her job;
  • require an employee to take leave under any leave law or policy of the employer if another reasonable accommodation can be provided to the known limitations for medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; or
  • take adverse action against an employee in the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment for requesting or using a reasonable accommodation to the known limitations for medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

Cities should review their accommodations procedures and anti-discrimination policies. Visit the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission website for more information. SCMIRF members have 10 free hours with the Employment and Labor Hotline which can be reached at 1.866.800.0118