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Bill filed to prevent employers from mandating microchips

The bill’s sponsor, Prince Chestnut, D-Selma, said this is a pre-emptive bill to dissuade companies from considering the burgeoning technology.

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A bill to be considered by the Alabama Legislature in March would prevent employers from requiring employees to implant a microchip as a condition of employment.

Prince Chestnut, D-Selma, said he became aware of the dystopian concept a few months ago while reading on other technologies of the future.

“I ended up running up on this article about a company called Three Market Square out of Wisconsin that was doing it,” Chestnut said. “I was like, ‘Well that doesn’t seem like a good thing to do.’ Next, folks are probably going to be requiring folks to get a chip just to work.”

Alabama is far from the first state to consider legislation of the sort. At least four other states have prohibited employers from mandating microchips for employees. And seven more have prohibited mandatory microchipping of individuals regardless of the situation.

The bill would also expressly prohibit a state officer or employee, a seller of insurance or a bond salesman from mandating the use of a microchip.

Chestnut said he based his legislation on a similar law enacted in Nevada.

“We have to be careful as a society and take our time to consider the ethical and constitutional implications of technology,” Chestnut said. “Individual liberty and freedom of movement should always remain sacrosanct. Your right to work should not result in your employer being able to trace your steps and place you under a constant state of 24 hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week surveillance.”

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The few microchips known to have been used in a workplace do not have GPS capability, according to Three Market Square, but are used primarily to unlock doors and laptops.

Violation of the law would be a Class D Felony. 

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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