As winter approaches, many people have opted to become inoculated in hopes of preventing the flu. Some people choose to forego the flu vaccine for a variety of reasons. This leads many to question if they can be terminated for flu shot refusal.
Some people have religious or philosophical reasons for not receiving the vaccine. Some employers encourage employees to have their flu shot to prevent workplace outbreaks of the virus, but can they require it?
There is no simple answer to that question. Especially in the health care field, employees are strongly advised to receive the flu shot. If workers come in contact with patients who have compromised immune systems, it is important that they are as healthy as possible.
Large health care systems like Johns Hopkins require their employees to receive the flu vaccine for the welfare of their patients. The only exceptions to this policy are when the vaccine poses a danger to the employee – if they are allergic for example – and when an employee objects to the vaccine for religious reason.
Vaccination Refusal for Other Workers
What about industries outside of health care? Is it legal for employers to terminate workers for flu shot refusal? That depends upon several factors. Does your state have any laws on the books that deal with mandatory vaccines? Is there anything about mandatory vaccines in your employment contract or employee handbook? Do you have legal grounds to refuse the flu shot?
The laws surrounding mandatory vaccines are controversial. Employers have been sued for wrongful termination by employees who have refused flu shots. When the employee objects to the vaccine for religious reasons, employers attempting to mandate the vaccine may be violating state and federal anti–discrimination laws.
If you have concerns or reservations about the flu vaccine, ask an employment lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates if there are laws in your state regarding mandatory vaccine policies. We can determine if your employer has the right to mandate flu shots if it is not mentioned in your contract or handbook.
Cherry Hill Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. Fight Wrongful Termination
If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated for flu shot refusal or for any other reason, our experienced team of Cherry Hill employment lawyers can help. Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. has extensive knowledge of employment law and knows your rights as a worker. Call us today at 215-569-1999 or complete our online contact form to discuss your situation. We serve clients throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York.