Watch: South Carolina Wants To Make It a Crime To Ask About Vaccination Status

Written By BlabberBuzz | Thursday, 27 January 2022 05:15
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A recently introduced South Carolina law would ban asking for a person's vaccine status.

Under the "Don't Ask" bill, asking a person if they are vaccinated would be considered a felony, Fox Carolina reports.

"The government has no place in making you or telling you to take the vaccination or threatening your livelihood if you don't," said state Rep. William Chumley, the bill co-sponsor.

The bill states, "Any representative of a public, private, or nonprofit entity … who inquires about COVID-19 vaccination status … must be fined not more than $14,000 or imprisoned not more than one year."

Chumley said the bill addresses a "freedom and job protection issue," adding that current labor shortages can be blamed in large part on vaccine mandates blocking workers from returning to the workforce.

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"South Carolina didn't want to get in this fight," Chumley said. "It was brought to us by the federal government."

"States have a right to impose certain laws if they want to, and to not impose others we feel are unconstitutional," he added.

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Labor law attorney Jeremy Summerlin of Greenville called the proposal impractical to execute.

"When you work it out practically, how it would play out in the real world, it's insane," he said. "You put employers in an impossible position."

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Summerlin also says that enforcement could get problematic, especially in a state like South Carolina, which ordinarily prides itself in not meddling with personal stuff and letting independent business owners operate with freedom. He says this could all be a dangerous path.

"What if you ask your coworker about their vaccination status, and you are just having a conversation?" Summerlin asked. "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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"There are so many other things wrong right now, so many ordinary people hurting, so many better uses of time, than wasting it on a state law that would prosecute anyone who asks someone if they're vaccinated," he concluded.

For his part, Chumley told Fox Carolina that South Carolina never ever wanted to get involved in the affairs of private businesses but sensed the need to do so this time to cover employees' choices.

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Summerlin says that the claim of many politicians like Chumley about vaccine mandates being "government overreach" could be turned around and used against them with the same logic here; some people might see this potential new bill as the government stepping in to "mandate" what medical information employers can and cannot ask for.

He says that if this passes, he anticipates a large, looming legal battle ahead.

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