LANSING, Mich., Aug. 19, 2021 — The Michigan House Committee on Workforce, Trades, and Talent held a hearing on House Bill 4471 today, which would prevent employers from requiring certain vaccinations as a term of employment.
“Getting shots in arms has given our economy a shot in the arm, and House Democrats stand with the business community in opposing taking away the ability for a business to do what it needs to keep its customers and to keep its doors open,” said House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township). “We’re used to seeing Michigan Republicans engage in cheap theatrics and political stunts to score points with the anti-vaccine crowd, but with the delta variant spreading rapidly, this bill is truly dangerous and could pave the way for another COVID surge and economic collapse, hurting small and large businesses.”
HB 4471 prohibits an employer from discharging, refusing to hire or discriminating against an employee if they have not received, or decline to receive, a “specified vaccination” for any reason. The bill defines a “specified vaccination” to mean a vaccine for COVID-19, influenza and the TDAP (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis). Prominent employers currently requiring vaccinations include the U.S. military, most hospitals and many major airlines.
“I’m disappointed to see my colleagues push a bill that is so clearly anti-business,” said state Rep. Terry Sabo (D-Muskegon), the Democratic vice chair of the committee. “Michigan is making an economic comeback, but small businesses can’t survive if their employees and staff are quarantined, hospitalized and put on ventilators. This legislation has the potential to grind our economic progress to a halt. The business community has joined together and made their voices loud and clear in opposition to this legislation, and I stand with them.”
Organizations opposed to HB 4471 include the Small Business Association of Michigan, Michigan Manufacturers Association, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, and organized labor.