Q. Because this season’s flu outbreak was so severe, next fall we would like to require all our employees to get a flu vaccine. We hope this will cut down on employee absences during flu season. Would such a policy be lawful?
A. Requiring employees to get vaccinations, such as an influenza vaccine, is a common practice among health care employers. That is because employees in the health care industry have close and frequent contact with vulnerable patients.
While uncommon in other industries, a mandatory vaccine policy would not be unlawful.
As a general rule, most employers may institute a mandatory vaccine policy and fire workers for not complying with the policy in accordance with the employment-at-will doctrine (meaning employers may fire employees for any reason that is not unlawful). Exceptions include instances in which the employee is working under a contract or a labor agreement that bars such a policy.
Additional...(register to read more)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Sample Policy: Confidentiality and Nondisclosure
- Make sure 'executive exemption' fits, or you could be liable for huge FLSA damages
- Workplace detective: 10 investigation mistakes to avoid
- Use performance evaluations to pinpoint problems—And follow up