The Charleston Metro Chamber Encourages Business Leaders to Oppose H.3126

One of our most important asks of our volunteer leaders is to be the voice of our business community on pressing legislative issues. Our team is asking for your immediate help, by 12:00 Noon, today in communicating with South Carolina Speaker of the House Jay Lucas your opposition as a business leader to H. 3126 and his consideration to pull this bill from House debate in this afternoon’s session.

Yes, this is a real fire drill as this 3126 now has legs and if it is adopted will do significant harm to the underpinnings of South Carolina’s at will employment environment and the nationally ranked business climate we all enjoy.

H. 3126 is a state mandate pushing back on the federal vaccination. It is so hard a push in the opposite direction that it will preclude South Carolina businesses, including yours, from exercising the right to do what they feel is appropriate for their individual companies and employees in navigating the fluid Covid-19 pandemic setting in which we find ourselves. The bill proposes an overreach by state government in dictating what you can and cannot do with your company’s human resource policies and employee management.

The federal vaccination mandate, currently, is under federal stay and will proceed to the U.S. Supreme Court where its validity and legal application will be measured. Our state legislature needs to exercise patience as the federal court process unfolds.

Our ask before 12:00 Noon, please: We need you to call the Speaker of the House Jay Lucas’ office and let him know this legislation harms the best interests of your business and all business in South Carolina. We’ve been told if he hears from business leaders he may rule moving the legislation for special order, out of order and then this bill would not receive consideration until next year’s session.  Thank you for calling or e-mail Speaker Jay Lucas, before the House goes into session at noon: His phone number is 803-734-3125 and his email address is jaylucas@schouse.gov

Here is a statement our Chamber signed onto, yesterday, with other business associations across the state. It was sent to House Ways and Means, The Speaker and all House members. 

The statement reflects the following realities associated with H. 3126 for additional background

Section 3(a) and Section 4 of this legislation are unprecedented intrusions into the internal personnel decisions of businesses.

  1. This is no longer a vaccine issue, this is an at-will employment issue.
  1. This bill could overturn 100 years of at-will employment in this state and provide to continue to erode at-will employment and our right-to-work laws.
  1. The state of SC is placing our valued small businesses into a no-win scenario. You’re telling a private business owner she can’t run her company the way she needs to needs to. What if she, or an employee, has a pre-existing condition or is otherwise vulnerable? Why can’t that owner choose protect herself and her employees in her privately-owned company setting?
  1. Employees are free to choose. So are private businesses. In this pro-worker marketplace right now, we don’t need this bill.
  1. It will make our state more litigious. Businesses will get sued for all kinds of terminations – whether it was vaccine-related or not. 
  1. We need to let this issue settle down and be heard by the Supreme Court, as it will do. 
  1. This a dramatic overreach course correction. Private employers losing their right to choose how they operate their companies and take care of their employees.

Read the Statement from South Carolina Business Associations

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