The Los Angeles Employment Attorney Services blog is an online portal of elite group of employment and labor law attorneys of Mesriani Law Group.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Refusing Mandatory Flu Vaccine Policies, Basis for Termination of Employment?

Requiring employees to get flu vaccination is a common employment policy among health care employers. The said practice is done to prevent spreading the flu aside from avoiding employee from being absent from work.

Although this practice is common among health care workers, how about employees from other industries? Is it lawful for their employers to require them to undergo such policy?

So far, in at-will employment, employers can lawfully impose a mandatory flu vaccine and can likewise terminate an employee for not complying with the company policy. It can only be illegal if and only the employee is working under a labor contract or agreement that does not include such policy. In addition, employers must be aware about the anti-discrimination laws since in some cases where an employee’s religious beliefs prevent him or her from taking such vaccine, that is when the policy becomes unlawful.

Such employment policy has been actually disputed over the past few years. Many labor group advocates believe that employers have a lot of alternatives to mandating a vaccine policy that could still promote a healthy environment. According to some, rather than requiring strictly mandating their employees to get a flu vaccine, employers may just simply encourage them to do the same.

In fact, to make it easier to encourage employees to receive flu vaccine, employers may host a flu shot clinic in the workplace. Employers may also offer their employees with discounts or vouchers on vaccinations. Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends employers to ease their attendance policies during flu season or increase the number of sick days available to employees or allow workers to work from home.

On the other hand, most employers would not be glad hearing the agency’s favorable suggestions of encouraging employees to stay at home during sick days for a certain period of time since one of the major reason why they are requiring the vaccine is to reduce the employees’ absenteeism due to flu, speculated by a California wrongful termination lawyer.

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