The Michigan House today passed the “Microchip Protection Act” with bipartisan support. The plan, sponsored by Rep. Bronna Kahle, will protect the privacy rights of Michigan workers and promote further growth for job providers as it relates to microchipping – a cutting-edge technology on the rise across the country that increases workplace efficiency.
“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,” Kahle said. “Microchipping has been brought up in many conversations as companies across the country are exploring cost-effective ways to increase workplace efficiency. While these miniature devices are on the rise, so are the calls of workers to have their privacy protected.”
Radio-frequency identification tags, commonly referred to as microchips, are beginning to seep into the marketplace as new technological devices to help streamline everyday business practices. The chips, roughly the size of a grain of rice, are implanted into the hands of employees and act as a replacement for I.D. badges, timecards, usernames and passwords for security clearance, and even credit cards.
While there are only a few known U.S.-based companies embedding microchips in its employees, several job providers could be following suit soon – including businesses in Michigan.
“Despite this type of technology not quite making its way into our state yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a standard business practice statewide within the next few years,” Kahle said. “We should absolutely take every step possible to get ahead of these devices.”
Under Kahle’s plan, Michigan employers would be able utilize microchipping, but could not mandate employees to have such devices implanted. Kahle said the measure strikes a good balance between protecting workers’ rights and providing businesses with flexibility to increase efficiency and further grow.
Five states have already outlawed mandatory microchipping for employees, Kahle said, with Indiana being the most recent.
House Bill 5672 now heads to the Senate for further consideration.