Can my employer force me to get the flu vaccine?

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Can my employer force me to get the flu vaccine?

The hospital Iwork at is making it mandatory for us to get the flu shot. I have a whole list of reasons not to get it but I want to know will they be able to fire me if I continue to refuse the shot?

Asked on August 4, 2011 Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The fact that you work in a hospital and are both exposed to disease regularly and could come into contact with patients, making you get a flu shot is a completely reasonable condition of employment. Further, most employment relationships are what is known as "at will".  This means that as a general rule an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason or no reason whatsoever, and can impose requirements as it sees fit.  In turn, an employee can work for an employer or not, their choice. 

The above holds true unless there is a stated hospital policy or a union/employment agreement to the contrary, or this situation has arisen due to some type of discrimination.


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