By Amy Feldman

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The flu epidemic is growing, at least in part because the vaccine created for what was anticipated to be this year’s flu outbreak is not effective against about two thirds of the flu cases seen. As a result, many people who have been vaccinated in years past are opting out of the vaccine this year.

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Despite the decrease in the vaccine’s effectiveness, many employers are providing on-site flu shots. Some are requiring them. Is it legal for employers to require employees to receive the vaccine?

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When the employer is a health care facility, it is not only within its 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.

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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 – regardless of its proven effectiveness – so it is, in fact, one more way for your employer to say “bend over”.