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Proposed Bill Would Protect Workers Who Refuse Vaccinations

Ohio employees would have the right to sue if forced to have flu shots or other vaccines, under a new proposal being considered by state lawmakers.

The Ohio House bill would prohibit employers from firing or refusing to hire employees who object to immunizations. Employees could object to vaccinations because of medical reasons like allergies, or because of philosophical or religious beliefs.

But the proposal is too broad and could create safety issues for patients and medical staff, according to The Center for Health Affairs, which advocates for the hospital systems in Northeast Ohio.

"They are caring for ill patients," says Lisa Anderson, senior vice president for membership at the Center for Health Affairs. "The risk of transmission of the illness to a patient or back to the direct care provider is much higher than it is in ordinary employer organizations." 

The bill, dubbed the "Medical Consumer Protection Act," was referred to the House Commerce and Labor Committee on Tuesday.

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