Senate Bill Seeks To Halt Outside Undercover Investigations

Jun 1, 2013

A snapshot from inside the Butterball processing facility in Hoke County,
Credit Mercy for Animals

A bill in the state Senate could put an end to secret videos seeking to expose shoddy business practices.  The N.C Commerce Protection Act would stop advocacy groups from getting hidden-camera evidence of crimes unbeknownst to employers. 

Mercy For Animals made one such video at a Butterball plant in Hoke County in 2011 that led to charges.  The group's lead investigator Matt Rice says the bill would go beyond just animal cruelty.

"It would make it impossible to document abuses in any business including child day care centers, senior homes or anywhere else," says Rice.

But Gary Salamido with the North Carolina Chamber says it's not about stifling whistleblowers.

"This issue has come up as people lying on their job applications in order to do something other than the job they're being hired to do," Salamido said.

Senators hope to vote on the bill before the end of this session.