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The Office of Investigations and Enforcement (OIE) is responsible for investigating complaints involving a possible violation of a professional or occupational practice act. OIE also investigates Labor complaints for wage disputes and child labor. Certain professional or occupational licensing boards also require routine or follow up inspections by statute or regulation. OIE, through its inspection unit, also conducts those inspections. Occasionally, if violations are detected, and not otherwise appropriately resolved, a complaint will be opened and the alleged violations investigated. In those instances, the cases are handled as would any other OIE investigation.
Main Telephone Number:
FAX: (803) 896-4656 or (803)896-7680
PO Box 11329
Columbia SC 29211-1329
Please click the name to email the person below.
|Althea Myers (803) 896-4861||Mark Sanders (803) 896-4448||David Love (803) 896-4840 (All Labor Complaints)
|Long Term Care||Chiropractic||Opticianry|
|Todd Bond (803) 896-4411||Sharon Wolfe (803) 896-4467|
|Residential Builders||Real Estate|
|Manufactured Housing||Massage Therapy|
|Robbie Boland (803) 896-4464|
Each year, OIE receives complaints relating to approximately 2 percent of its licensees. Complaints must be made in writing. Once a complaint is received, it will be assigned to a complaint analyst who reviews the complaint to determine if a violation of the board's practice act may have occurred.
If it is determined that a complaint does not reasonably allege a violation of the board's practice act, the complaint will be classified as a "Do Not Open” case and the matter will be closed. Otherwise, the case will be assigned to the appropriate chief investigator who will review the complaint, determine issues, assign case number and assign case to an investigator.
Early in the investigative process, the complainant and the Respondent will be notified that the case has been assigned to a specific investigator and the Respondent will have an opportunity to send in a response to the complaint. The investigator will conduct a thorough investigation and may issue subpoenas under section 40-1-80(B) of the South Carolina Code for records relevant to the investigation. The investigator will also conduct interviews of necessary parties to the complaint. Investigations are generally completed within 60-180 days.
Once the investigation is complete, the results of the investigation are then presented to an Internal Review Committee (IRC) for determination as to whether sufficient evidence of a violation of the practice act exists to warrant formal proceedings. The IRC's recommendation will be presented to the board, which will ultimately decide whether or not the case proceeds to a formal complaint. If formal action is approved, OIE will forward the case to the Office of General Counsel (OGC) for further proceedings.
Payment of Wages Investigations
The Payment of Wages Act (Act) establishes a procedure to inform employees of their terms of employment, to include hours of work, wages agreed upon, employee benefits, time and place of payment an itemized statement of gross wages and deduction; and to assure employees are paid according to the terms of their employment. Under the Act, employers are also responsible for certain record keeping requirements concerning their employees.
Any wage complaint received indicating a possible violation of the Act will be screened by the appropriate chief investigator to determine whether the complaint falls within the jurisdiction of the Act. Many of the complaints received by OIE allege a violation by an employer, but do not implicate the Act.
If the chief investigator determines that the complaint alleges sufficient facts concerning employee unpaid wages, commissions, and/or benefits, he or she will assign it to an investigator.
When the investigator completes the investigation, he/she will report the investigative findings to the chief investigator. After review by the chief investigator, if violations of the Act are found, sanctions such as citations and warnings will be issued to employer. An employer may request an administrative review of any citation issued in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act.
Review the Payment of Wages Act
The Child Labor Laws in South Carolina were enacted to prohibit oppressive child labor practices as defined by statute and regulation. Click here for the laws governing child labor in South Carolina.(41-13-5 et. seq. and S.C. Code of Regs. Chapter 71 Article 3)
As in Payment of Wages complaints, if a complaint is made alleging a violation of the Child Labor laws, the designated chief investigator will review the complaint to determine if sufficient facts exist to open an investigation.
If a case is opened for investigation, it is assigned to an investigator to conduct a full investigation into the allegations. Upon completion of the investigation, the investigative findings are reviewed by the chief investigator who will issue appropriate sanctions as provided by law, which may include the issuance of citations and assessment of a civil penalties.
Employers may protest and request administrative review of any citations and must follow the procedures established by regulation to be entitled to an administrative review.
In both Payment of Wages and Child Labor investigations, OIE has the statutory authority to enter the premises of employers to inspect the premises or documents in furtherance of an investigation.