COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Senate unanimously approved Wednesday a proposal to prevent employers from mandating COVID-19 vaccines for workers.
The resolution advanced by senators states that employers can’t punish or fire their workers for refusing to get the shots.
The measure also states that the Department of Health and Environmental Control would not be able to require people who refuse to get vaccinated to quarantine or isolate themselves.
The proposal does make some exceptions for hospitals and other employers working with populations who are especially vulnerable to the virus, such as the elderly or people with certain underlying conditions who have a higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19.
Employers could still require quarantines for workers exposed to COVID-19 and provide incentives for employees to get the vaccine.
Senators have also passed a separate bill that would prevent lawsuits against businesses and other groups by people who contract COVID-19 as long as federal and state health guidelines were being followed.