Can Employers Mandate Flu Shots?
By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Can your employer force you to get a flu shot?
With reports of the flu epidemic growing by the day, many employers are providing on-site flu shots. Some are requiring them.
An Ohio nurse recently filed a lawsuit against the hospital where she was a supervisor because, she alleges, she was fired for refusing a flu shot. She said that the shot interfered with her Christian beliefs. No word on which branch of Christianity to which she adheres, but regardless of religious affiliation, many workers who don’t like shots in general or don’t believe the efficacy of the flu shot in particular hate the idea that employers can mandate them.
Well? Can they?
Not only are health care facilities within their rights to require vaccines for healthcare workers, in some cases they are legally mandated to do so, so yes, the law says that hospital workers must be vaccinated absent a medical or earnestly held religious belief.
There are not many workplaces other than hospitals or other health care facilities that require employees to be vaccinated, but there’s no law that says that an employer can’t require it so it is, in fact, one more way for your employer to say “bend over”.