Can my employer threaten my job in order for me to take the flu shot?

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Can my employer threaten my job in order for me to take the flu shot?

I work at a hospital. We received an e-mail today stating that effective the end of this month, there will be a new policy mandating you to take the flu shot or face losing your job. Is that legal? I feel like my human rights are being violated.

Asked on September 26, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The fact that you work in a hospital and could come into contact with patients, making you get a flu shot is a reasonable condition of employment. The fact is that the majority of employment arrangements are what is known as "at will".  This means that an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason or no reason at all, as well as impose the terms and conditions of employment as it sees fit.  In turn, an employee can choose to work for an employer or not. 

The exceptions to this would be if there is a stated hospital policy, union agreement, or employment contract to the contrary, or this situation has arisen due to some form of actionable discrimination.


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