Darlington County council member plans to let people take off work to worship

Pee Dee

Employers in Darlington County could soon face a penalty if they refuse to give workers a worship day. Councilman Robert L. Kilgo plans to introduce the ordinance at the next county council meeting on March 5.

“They are protected and cannot be fired because they refuse to work,” Kilgo said.

With America being so religiously diverse, Kilgo believes people of all beliefs need their own day to practice their faith.  

Employers, who refuse to follow the new proposal, would risk facing a civil penalty. But, they could also be forced to rehire the employee. 

“I think people should be able to respect and observe their religious holidays and their time with their family,” said local resident Sarah Plemons.

Plemons experienced difficulties at a former job when she asked for a worship day.

“I worked at a couple places where they really do not give you many options, and I really don’t agree with that,” she added.

To take the proposal further, Kilgo wants to eliminate blue laws in Darlington County all together. Blue laws were designed to restrict some or all Sunday activities for religious purposes. With the laws, some businesses open late, close early or don’t even open at all.

Since some religions don’t worship on Sunday, he said there’s no reason for businesses to have different hours that day. 

“We’re no longer in a period where people don’t do things on Sunday. People do things on Sunday. Darlington County just passed the referendum for allowing alcohol sales on Sunday and this is just an extension of that,” he said. 

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