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Bill Number: 279 Ratification Number: 322 Act Number 312 Introducing Body: Senate Subject: Powers of county councils; personnel policies
(A312, R322, S279)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 4-9-30, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE POWERS OF COUNTY COUNCILS, SO AS TO CLARIFY REFERENCES AND DELETE OBSOLETE REFERENCES RELATING TO COUNTY GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES, TO PROVIDE THAT EMPLOYEES DISCHARGED IN COUNTIES HAVING GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES SHALL FOLLOW THOSE PROCEDURES AND IN THOSE COUNTIES NOT HAVING GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES THAT EMPLOYEES DISCHARGED BY THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER OR A DEPARTMENT HEAD MUST HAVE A HEARING BEFORE COUNCIL AT THE EMPLOYEE'S REQUEST AND TO AMEND SECTION 8-17-140, RELATING TO FINDINGS AND DECISIONS OF COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEE GRIEVANCE COMMITTEES, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT ACTIONS ON THE FINDINGS AND DECISIONS OF THE GRIEVANCE COMMITTEES MUST BE TAKEN BY THE INDIVIDUAL OR BODY VESTED WITH EMPLOYMENT AND DISCHARGE AUTHORITY RATHER THAN BY THE GOVERNING BODY.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 4-9-30(7) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(7) to develop personnel system policies and procedures for county employees by which all county employees are regulated except those elected directly by the people, and to be responsible for the employment and discharge of county personnel in those county departments in which the employment authority is vested in the county government. This employment and discharge authority does not extend to any personnel employed in departments or agencies under the direction of an elected official or an official appointed by an authority outside county government. Any employee discharged shall follow the grievance procedures as established by county council in those counties where the grievance procedures are operative, retaining all appellate rights provided for in the procedures. In those counties where a grievance procedure is not established, a county employee discharged by the chief administrative officer or designated department head must be granted a public hearing before the entire county council if he submits a request in writing to the clerk of the county council within five days of receipt of notice of discharge. The hearing must be held within fifteen days of receipt of the request. The employee must be relieved of his duties pending the hearing and if a majority of the county council sustains the discharge, it is final subject to judicial review, but if a majority of the county council reverses the dismissal, the employee must be reinstated and paid a salary for the time he was suspended from his employment.
The salary of those officials elected by the people may be increased but may not be reduced during the terms for which they are elected, except that salaries for members of council and supervisors under the council-supervisor form of government must be set as provided in this chapter;".
Findings and decision reported
SECTION 2. Section 8-17-140 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 8-17-140. The committee shall, within twenty days after hearing an appeal, make its findings and decision and report the findings and decision to the individual or body vested with employment and discharge authority. If the individual or body vested with employment and discharge authority approves, the decision of the grievance committee is final, and copies of the decision must be transmitted by the committee to the employee, to the chief administrative officer, and to the particular department or agency involved. If, however, the individual or body vested with employment and discharge authority rejects the decision of the committee, it shall make its own decision without further hearing, and that decision is final, with copies transmitted to the employee and the employing agency."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.