South Carolina: New Expungement Law Allows Applicants to Remove Minor Criminal Convictions

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December 27, 2018

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While South Carolina does not have its own statewide “ban-the-box” law, its legislature recently overrode the Governor’s veto and passed a new bill to expand the current expungement law.  This bill will allow individuals to more easily remove minor criminal convictions from their records.

Currently, individuals can expunge first-offense, low-level crimes carrying a sentence of 30 days or less after a period of good behavior.  The new law removes the first-offense requirement and permits multiple convictions arising from the same sentencing if they are “closely connected.”  In addition, first-offense simple drug possession and distribution crimes may be expunged.  Significantly, the expanded scope of the expungement law can be applied to offenses committed prior to the law’s passage.

Additionally, employers who do become aware of an expunged offense may not take adverse employment action against the applicant/employee on the basis of that knowledge.  Employers should refrain from seeking information about expunged offenses during the hiring process.

With the new law, employers will not be able to obtain information on applicants’ expunged offenses.  However, the law provides immunity to employers for administrative claims or lawsuits related to expunged convictions, offering a potential level of protection against negligent hiring, retention, or supervision claims.

Action Items

  1. Have hiring managers trained on the expanded scope of expungement regulations.
  2. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2018 ManagEase

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