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EMPLOYERS MAY REQUIRE EMPLOYEES TO GET A FLU SHOT

EMPLOYERS MAY REQUIRE EMPLOYEES TO GET A FLU SHOT
02 Feb 2010 Uncategorized

EMPLOYERS MAY REQUIRE EMPLOYEES TO GET A FLU SHOT

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently announced that employers may mandate employees take H1N1 and other seasonal vaccines. This interpretation letter was recently posted on the agency’s website in response to a constituent’s letter forwarded to the agency by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) inquiring whether an employer could mandate she and her co-workers accept a flu shot.

While the issue has stirred great debate in the employment environment and despite having regulations allowing such activities, OSHA declared an employer is within its authority to require employees take vaccines.

OSHA did, however, caution that an employee who refuses to receive the vaccines because of a reasonable belief that he or she has a medical condition that creates a real danger of serious illness or death may be protected from job retaliation under Section 11 (c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which prohibits discrimination and retaliation for engaging in protected activity.

Employers should proceed with caution prior to implementing mandatory vaccination policies as other laws and regulations may be applicable.

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