Is it legal for employers in health care to mandate flu shots for employees and fire them if they don’t?

UPDATED: Nov 1, 2011

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Is it legal for employers in health care to mandate flu shots for employees and fire them if they don’t?

Asked on November 1, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes it is. Since you work in a healthcare facility and are exposed to disease regularly, as well as come into contact with patients, making you get a flu shot is a completely reasonable condition of employment.

The fact is that most employment relationships are what is known as "at will".  This means that an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason or no reason whatsoever, as well has increase/decrease in salary/hours, promote/demote, and enforce requiremnts as it sees fit.  In turn, an employee can work for an employer or not, their choice. That is unless there is a stated company policy covering prohibiting this kind of requirement, or there is a union/employment agreement to the contrary, or this situation has arisen due to some type of actionable discrimination.

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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