Today, April 4, 2017, the South Carolina State legislature passed S. 218, legislation to prohibit municipal governments from requiring employer provided benefits. The legislation comes as more local governments are passing ordinances that require employers to provide benefits, above and beyond wages. The supporters of the legislation refer to municipal governments around the nation that are requiring employers to provide such items as paid sick leave, retirement benefits, and wellness benefits, profit-sharing, and transportation benefits.
The Association for Commuter Transportation recognizes the balance between burdensome ordinances versus transportation policies that encourage alternatives. Transit benefit ordinances are cost neutral policies that support better transportation without costing employers a significant amount of time or money.
The legislation now heads to the Governor’s desk. As a result of this legislation, no municipality in South Carolina would be able to pass a transit benefit ordinances similar to that of San Francisco, New York City, or Washington DC, unless it was passed by the South Carolina state legislature. This legislation does not avail employers that either have offices in other cities or employ a mobile workforce outside South Carolina, as such those employers are still required to comply with such ordinances and ensure that the benefits they are offering to employees are consistent with the laws of the jurisdictions in which its employees work.