(CBS DETROIT) – As some hospitals and public universities enforce COVID-19 vaccine mandates, a group of Michigan lawmakers is working to keep those requirements out of the workplace.

House Bill 4471 could stop employers from forcing their staff to get the vaccine in order to stay on the job.

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State representative Daire Rendon is one of 17 lawmakers sponsoring the bill.

She says she wants to protect the civil rights of Michigan workers by giving them the freedom to choose.

“If I were to summarize the bill, I would say this is basically a person’s bill of rights,” said Rendon. “For you to decide what’s good for your body and if my employer put off by my not having the vaccination, that’s a shame.

The bill proposes prohibiting employers from discriminating against an individual because the individual has not received or declines to receive certain vaccinations, prohibits retaliation, and provides remedies.

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Whitmer’s Office released a statement in response to House Bill 4471 that reads in part:

Governor Whitmer supports businesses who make the decision to protect their workforce and would veto any legislation that prevented them from doing so.”

The statement also points out that unvaccinated residents account for 98% of COVID-19 cases, 95% of hospitalizations, and 96% of deaths from January to July of this year. 

“I think that the governor needs to expand her definition of science, and she needs to consult people from all opinions of science,” said Rendon. “Not just the few she selected.

The bill must make it out of committee before moving before the House for further consideration.  

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