Bill requires employers to keep implanted microchips voluntary for workers
(6/25/2020) - As employers around the U.S. implant microchips in workers to track productivity, the Michigan House passed a bill making them voluntary in the state.
The bill passed Wednesday prohibits employers from requiring workers to accept a microchip implant.
“With the way technology has increased over the years and as it continues to grow, it’s important Michigan job providers balance the interests of the company with their employees’ expectations of privacy,” said State Rep. Bronna Kahle of Lenawee County, who sponsored the bill.
She said companies increasingly are turning to miniature microchips about the size of a rice grain implanted in employees' hands to track productivity so managers can look for ways to boost efficiency.
In some places, the RFID microchips take the place of time cards, ID badges and security clearance devices. Some can be equipped with credit card technology to complete financial transactions.
Kahle said the devices aren't used widely yet, but she believes they could become a standard business practice around Michigan in the next few years.
"While these miniature devices are on the rise, so are the calls of workers to have their privacy protected," Kahle said.
Companies could still deploy implanted microchips under her bill, but the policy would have to be voluntary rather than mandatory. Indiana recently passed similar legislation for implanted microchips.
Kahle's bill now heads to the State Senate for consideration. It would have to pass there before Gov. Gretchen Whitmer could sign it into law.