Can I be fired for refusing the flu shot at work?

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Can I be fired for refusing the flu shot at work?

They are telling me if I refuse the shot I won’t have a job. I don’t believe in the shot don’t want it. And my religious beliefs I don’t believe in it.

Asked on October 10, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Most employment is "at will", which means that a worker can be fired for any reason or no reason at all with or without notice. Additionally, an employer can mandate that all employees receive flu shots. That having been said, employees do have the right to refuse if they are doing so for religious or medical reasons. So, the bottom line is that private employers can ask that their workers be vaccinated and they do have the right to terminate them if they so choose. However, there are legal risks for doing so if a worker is using class protection (i.e. religion, etc.) as their reason.


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