A new law proposed in South Carolina would ban employers from asking about the vaccination status of their workers.
“The government has no place in making you or telling you to take the vaccination, or threatening your livelihood if you don’t,” Republican state Rep. William Chumley said, according to WHNS-TV.
Chumley is a co-sponsor of the bill.
“South Carolina didn’t want to get in this fight,” he said. “It was brought to us by the federal government.”
In South Carolina they are proposing a law that would impose a fine or even jail time for asking somebody’s vaccination status. I love my state.
— Angelo D 🇮🇹 (@Angelo_DeFl) January 25, 2022
Chumley called the proposal a “freedom and job protection issue.”
House Bill 4848 is brief and to the point.
“Notwithstanding another provision of law to the contrary, any employee, officer, agent, or other representative of a public, nonprofit, or private entity who inquires about the COVID-19 vaccination status of any student, employee, member, or anyone else seeking admission on the entity’s premises is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than fourteen thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both,” it reads.
The bill was introduced last week and will be reviewed by the House Judiciary Committee.
“This is still America and people should be able to choose what medication they take, or not take,” Burns said.
He has also introduced legislation allowing citizens to opt out of vaccine mandates and prohibiting discrimination against those who do so.
“We should respect the people who want to have them, and then we should also respect the people who are on the other end to and for whatever reason don’t want to take it,” Burns said.
“We need to be careful with what we impose on the citizens,” he said. “Freedom is an important thing, liberty is important.”
Labor law attorney Jeremy Summerlin told WHNS the legislation sponsored by Chumley could leave employers caught between state and federal edicts.
“You put employers in an impossible position,” Summerlin said.
“You’ve got a [proposed] state law now that says that if you ask about that, and try to comply with federal law, then you are going to jail,” he said.
Summerlin said the new law could open up vast complications.
“What if you ask your coworker about their vaccination status, and you are just having a conversation?” he said.
“What if you are a nurse, and you ask a fellow nurse about it? Do you want the local law enforcement to go in and arrest them because of this law?”
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