Can an employer force you to get a vaccine?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an employer force you to get a vaccine?

There is an outbreak of mumps in Washington state can my husband’s
workplace force him to get the mumps vaccine? I am sure he has had
the immunization he is 56 but we don’t have proof

Asked on January 19, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A worker can be disciplined (suspended or terminated) for not getting a mandatory vaccine. An in order to protect co-workers, clients, etc. His only recourse here would be if he has a union agreement/employment contract that states otherwise. Also, his treatment must not constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination.retaliation (e.g. getting this vaccine runs counter to his religious beliefs, etc.). Otherwise, I'm afraid that if you refuse them, you can be lawfully terminated. As an "at will" worker, your husband's company can set the conditions of his employment much as it sees fit.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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