Business owners could be banned from mandating vaccines

Proposal applies to all vaccines
Bill could prevent work vaccine mandates
Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 6:53 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Business owners in Michigan could lose their right to require employees to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

A bill making its way through the Michigan House of Representatives would ban businesses from asking workers their vaccination status, and prevent businesses from imposing different rules, such as mask requirements for unvaccinated workers.

But many business owners are pushing back.

“I already have clients requesting for me to only send vaccinated personnel,” said Kathie Valentine, owner of the Plant Professionals in DeWitt Township.

Valentine doesn’t require her employees to be vaccinated against COVID, but she offers incentives.

She said said she gets concerned whenever lawmakers ban anything, especially things that affect small businesses.

“If I can’t encourage people to vaccinate... If I can’t use those vaccinated people where my clients need me to, it’s going to really harm my business,” said Valentine.

Valentine said businesses, including hers, have to be flexible and shouldn’t be tied to a statewide mandate.

“If we can’t keep businesses strong, those employees aren’t going to have employment opportunities,” said Valentine.

“These sorts of decisions, whether they are about vaccines or they are about COVID restrictions, or other things, should be made in the workplace between employers and employees,” said Wendy Block, Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

Block said this shouldn’t be an issue right now.

“Right now there are not that many employers across our great state that are mandating vaccines at this point. They’re not doing that because they are listening to their employees,” said Block.

Valentine said its important for her to keep control of her business coming out of the pandemic.

“Everybody’s business is different. How the pandemic has affected has been different for everybody,” she said.

The proposal would apply to all vaccines, including annual flu shots.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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