Mandatory Flu Shots for Employees

I work for a Freestanding Emergency Room 3 years. Initially flu shots were voluntary however, this year they are making it MANDATORY. If you dont comply, you will have to wear a mask throughout your entire 12-hr shift. If you are caught without it, it can/will result in immediate termination. It goes against my principals and beliefs I have not called in sick during the 3 years that I have been employed there but, to the contrary numerous employees who took the flu shot last year, missed several days of work. Can I fight this legally? I live in the state of Texas Houston.

Asked on October 23, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot fight this legally. An employer has the right to require flu shots or (as a reasonable accommodation to an employee's anti-vaccination religous beliefs) that the employee in the alternative wear a mask. You have a reasonable alternative (the mask) to getting the flu shot, and the employer may set rules or policies to improve productivity (by reducing employee sick time due to getting the flu) or protect patient health (by protecting them from exposure). If you refuse to comply, you may be legally terminated. The fact that you have not called in sick for the past 3 years is wholly irrelevant.

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