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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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My work place is mandating I have a flu vaccine or wear a mask

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My work place is mandating I have a flu vaccine or wear a mask to see my patients. I am ethically and personally against taking the flu vaccine and never have had one. Can my workplace (I work in a hospital outpatient clinic) force me to take a flu shot? It is being presented as if I could lose my job (I am a dietitian)if I refuse to comply.
Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I bring nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines.

Unfortunately, the law on this issue is that an employer can require vaccine for the flu shot for those in the medical community. While I understand your ethical and personal aversion to the shot, neither is legally enough to allow you to not take the shot.

The only exemptions that is presently legally required are those for religious purposes (an employer has to reasonably accommodate an employee with a provable religious prohibition to vaccinations) and those for provable health reasons (doctor disqualifies you for the shot or, in your case, requires the egg-free vaccination).

Now, if you can establish no medical reason why you can't take the shot and can allege no religious aversion, allowing for reasonable accommodation, the employer can require the shot and terminate your employment for not taking it.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for this info. My employer (small hospital in Maine) does NOT have an egg-free vaccine in their supply to offer me and has referred me to my own physician to get one. My immediate supervisor is sympathetic to my plight and has told me that if I have to pay out of pocket for this vaccine gotten from my own physician, that she will do what she can to reimburse me or see that I am reimbursed....she insists that I should not be required to pay for this on my own because it's a hospital mandate .(and the hospital is giving all other employees the vaccine for free)I have being in this position, but I obviously can not afford to lose my job (I've been in this position with this hospital for 5 years now and all years previously had been allowed to sign a waiver to get out of having the vaccine. This is the first year that they are doing away with the waiver and insisting on all employees getting vaccinated. FLU vaccines are garbage, in my professional opinion!! (and I have 2 Master's Degrees)

I agree with you on the flu vaccine, though being a military member I don't have any choice in the matter.

Legally, they actually don't have to reimburse for the vaccination, but you would be able to deduct the cost from taxes. Regardless, I wish I could tell you differently here but they can legally require it.

Take care.
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