Is it legal for an employer to force its employees to take a medication or be fired?

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Is it legal for an employer to force its employees to take a medication or be fired?

My daughter works in a nursing home. One of the residents there was found to have scabies. The management at the nursing home told all of the employees that they had to take a dose of Ivermectin (a medication to prevent them from getting scabies or treat them if they already had it) or be fired. One employee asked to talk with her doctor before taking the Ivermectin because she had a heart condition and wanted to be sure it was safe to take with her other medications. The nursing home management told her to take it right then or be fired.

Asked on December 24, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Kansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

An employer may make taking a medication, such as scabies treatment in this case, or, say, a flu vacine, a requirement or condition of employment. Employees who choose not to do so may be terminated; thus, the employer can't "force" employees to take medicine, but can say, if you want to work here, you must. (Remember: there is no right to a job--employers may set essentially any requirements for employment that they choose.)


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