Can an employer make it mandatory to get the flu shot?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an employer make it mandatory to get the flu shot?

If you don’t we were told we will not get our raises. Is the legal to hold your raises from you?

Asked on December 29, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

First of all, does this mandate violate company policy, an employment contract or union agreement. And does it constitute legally actionable discrimination? If no to both, then such a requirement is perfectly legal. Acompany can make getting  flu shot mandatory. Additionally, in an "at will" work arrangement, an employer can give and take raises as it sees fit (as long as minimum wage laws are complied with). The fact is that a company can set the terms and conditions of the workplace as it sees fit or deems necessary. 
Not withstanding the above, an employee cannot be made to have a flu shot if they have an underlying medicial condition. And a prior adverse reaction would count. However, that having been said, a raise is a discretionary benefit so you could still be denied one for this reason, any reason or no reason at all.

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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