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TexLaw, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
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Im an RN working at a moderate sized medical center which

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I'm an RN working at a moderate sized medical center which implemented a policy that all employees, except the Board of the facility, are required to get a flu vaccination or provide a physicians note. In 2011 I provided a note from my personal physician stating that I " do not tolerate and it is believed I have an allergy to it". This was acceptable to my employer in 2011. In 2012 when I was again required to supply an MD's note I provided the same note only this time they refused the note stating they needed more information. While I was very upset by there questioning of my physicians note I prompting connected my physician to obtain yet another note that stated I "developed a painful rash at the injection site that lasts for a prolonged period of time and that it is recommended I not receive the vaccine in the future. To my dismay they also refused this note. Currently they have suspended me from my position until I provide more specifics. The The Flu Vaccination policy does not specifically state how your personal physician is to document the information, so it's up to a broad degree of interpretation. I

Thank you for your question. That your employer is refusing to accept your physician's note is ridiculous.

Your employer does not have a right to look into your medical history. However, your employer has made it a condition of employment that you receive a flu vaccination.

The first issue we must address is whether you have an employment contract or are part of a collective bargaining agreement (i.e., represented by a union). Do you know if either one of these is applicable to your situation?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am not part of collective bargaining and no empolment contract was signed.

The question of whether a medical center can require its employees to get a flu shot has been the subject of several lawsuits, most of which have settled, and one where a federal court found that it was not an illegal term.

Thus, the fact that your employer has required that you provide medical evidence that satisfies them that you should not have to get a flu vaccine is not improper on its face.

However, the fact that the medical center states that it will allow you to forego the flu shot with a doctor's note and then renegs and says that the doctor's note is not enough may be enough to qualify as a contractual agreement between you and the employer on which you could sue.

It's a hard case from my perspective, but I think you should probably find a local employment lawyer to take a look at your case in person. You will need to take the written policy from the medical center where it says that all you need is a doctor's note, and all other documentation that you believe is relevant for the attorney to review.

Because you have a medical reaction to the flu shot and your employer is also refusing to acknowledge this, you may also be able to claim that the condition qualifies as a disability under which you should be protected through the Americans with Disability Act and the employer should make a reasonable accommodation and allow you to not take the shot. Bring this up to the employment attorney with whom you consult in person to see if they believe it might be worth pursuing.

Please let me know if you have other questions regarding this subject.

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