This week’s Bad Bill of the Week involves state legislators trying yet again to interject themselves into the voluntary association between employee and employer. Senate Bill 855, titled “No Employer Discrimination for Reproductive Health Decisions” does pretty much what the title says. Sponsored by Sen. Floyd McKissick (D-Durham), the bill strives to prohibit employer discrimination “on the basis of the applicant’s or the employee’s reproductive health decision making, including the decision to use or access a particular drug, device, or medical service, or because of or on the basis of an employer’s beliefs about a particular drug, device, or medical service.”
There’s no getting around the obvious implication that the “medical service” described here is abortion, and “a particular drug” likely refers primarily to birth control. Of course, this law could also apply to “medical services” such as a vasectomy, or “drugs” like fertility pills or even Viagra.
Setting aside the enforcement issues of this bill, and the highly sensitive nature of the issues brought into consideration, this bill forces individuals to associate with one another in a way they may not want to. And freedom of association is one of our most important rights.
A labor agreement in a free society should be mutually agreed upon by both parties. Legislation such as SB 855 says that if one of the parties does not consent to the association for a reason the ruling class disapproves, that person needs to be punished. Forcing individuals to associate with one another against their will is unacceptable to those that value freedom – regardless of how you feel about the motives of any of the people involved.
Because it introduces government force into labor agreements that should be voluntary, SB 855 is this week’s Bad Bill of the Week.