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Governor Haley Signs Law to Deter Union Activity in South Carolina

    Client Alerts
  • June 22, 2012

Earlier this month, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed a modified version of a bill intended to discourage union activity in the state. The new law's main provisions increase the remedies for violation of South Carolina's existing right-to-work statute, providing for treble damages awards against unions or others found to have violated its provisions.

The law also allows but does not require employers to post notice to employees that employment and benefits of employment cannot be denied due to membership or non-membership in a union. This provision appears to be a reaction to the National Labor Relations Board's proposed collective bargaining rights poster.

The final bill removed several controversial anti-union provisions, including prohibitions on project labor agreements for state-funded construction projects. These agreements generally encourage use of unionized labor for such construction. The bill follows a decision earlier this year from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals which rejected organized labor claims that anti-union statements made by Governor Haley and other state officials illegally chilled unions' ability to organize and operate in South Carolina.