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Bill would prohibit employers from firing workers who don't get flu shots

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A proposed bill would make Wisconsin the first state to prohibit employers from firing workers who refuse to get flu shots.

Assembly Republican Jeremy Thiesfeldt of Fond du Lac is seeking co-sponsors for his bill, after some hospital workers and health care contractors said they were fired for refusing to be vaccinated.

In a memo, Thiesfeldt told his colleagues, "No one should have to choose between losing employment and having a large, ineffective vaccine injured into their body."

Many health care providers require their employees to get flu shots to protect themselves from sick patients.

Wisconsin's current law protects workers who refuse to get vaccinated for religious reasons, but Thiesfeldt says it's not enough.

UW Health in Madison requires its workers to get vaccinated once a year -- but there are exceptions for medical and religious reasons. UW Health spokesman Lisa Brunette says she can remember of no one being fired for not getting a flu shot.

Aurora Health Care says 95 percent of its workers are vaccinated, with nobody let go for not complying.