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Can we require employees to get flu vaccine?

by on
in Employment Law,Human Resources

Q. Can I require my employees to be vaccinated against the flu? I am concerned about the impact H1N1 will have on my business if it spreads among my employees, and a large group needs to take time off.

A. As H1N1 becomes more widespread, and as the vaccine becomes more available, many employers are beginning to require employees to be vaccinated.

If you are a public employer, such a mandate might run afoul of certain constitutional privacy protections.

For private employers, according to the EEOC, employers can compel the influenza vaccine, with a couple of important exceptions. An employee may be entitled to an exemption from a mandatory vaccination requirement based on an ADA disability that prevents him from taking the influenza vaccine.

Similarly, under Title VII, once an employer receives notice that an employee’s sincerely held religious belief, practice or observance prevents him from taking the influenza vaccine, the employer must provide a reasonable accommodation unless it would pose an undue hardship.

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