COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — A bill that bans some from enforcing a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for their workers is making it’s way through the Statehouse.
The House voted, mostly along party lines, to pass the legislation last week.
It bans workers for state agencies, local governments, school districts and first responders from being required to get the COVID-19 vaccine to stay employed.
After much debate, the legislation would allow private employers to require the vaccine.
The bill currently says that “if a private employer terminates or suspends an individual because they do not receive a COVID-19 vaccination, that individual is eligible for unemployment benefits.”
Rick Todd, President and CEO of the South Carolina Trucking Association, said this proposal in the bill could increase costs for South Carolina businesses.
“If an employee is dismissed or fired, that goes into the Department of Employment Workforce’s database and that’s how a company’s unemployment insurance premium is determined by their turnover,” Todd said.
Businesses in the state pay an unemployment insurance tax and individual businesses could see a tax hike.
Todd says the state Trucking Association is not anti-vaccine and they don’t support federal mandates.
“We do believe the free enterprise system needs to work and it has been working,” Todd said.
The bill is now headed to the Senate where more changes could be made. Senators aren’t expected to be back in Columbia until January.