Proposal in South Carolina would make it a misdemeanor for businesses and other entities to ask about the COVID-19 vaccination status of those seeking entry

Several South Carolina state representatives are backing a bill that would make it a misdemeanor for businesses and other entities to ask for the COVID-19 vaccination status of people seeking to enter a facility.

The bill, sponsored by several Republican state lawmakers, indicates that violators would be fined thousands of dollars, or jailed, or both.

“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,” the text of the bill reads.

Some people in the U.S. who have declined to get vaccinated during the COVID-19 pandemic have lost their jobs due to vaccine mandates.

“We have people in South Carolina that are losing their jobs because they have to report to their employer that they’re unvaccinated,” GOP state Rep. Mike Burns told Fox News. “We also have people who are having their insurance rates put in a different category. They’re charging up to an extra $100 a week more than the vaccinated people. It is absolutely insane to do this kind of thing.”

“I’m your employer, and I asked you if you’re pregnant, I can’t do that,” Burns noted, according to the outlet. “I can’t ask you if you’re thinking about getting pregnant. I can’t ask you if you got STDs or HIV. I can’t ask any of those private medical questions, but somehow it’s alright to terminate people’s employment because I didn’t take this emergency-use-only vaccine. This is ridiculous.”

Alex Nitzberg