Mandatory Flu Shots Not Recommended

November 12, 2009 at 5:06 pm Leave a comment

Requiring employees to get a flu shot might be too risky, according to legal experts.

The New York State Department of Health has issued emergency regulations requiring health care facilities to vaccinate all personnel for influenza, except those with no patient contact and those with other health conditions preventing immunization.

But “Outside of first responders and medical institutions, it is hard to imagine a need for such an extreme policy,” said David Barron, an attorney with Epstein Becker & Green. “Instead of making the flue vaccination mandatory, employers can encourage their employees to get vaccinated and can even facilitate having the vaccination offered on the premises with the assistance of a medical professional.”

Making flu vaccinations mandatory raises compensation and labor relations issues. “If the situation becomes more severe than expected and employers are either being required to have their employees get vaccinated or are permitted to require it, employees should be paid for this because it arguably would be work time,” said Steve Biddle, an attorney with Littler Mendelson in Phoenix.

Written by Allen Smith, excerpted from the November issue of HR Magazine.

Note: Posts on this blog are for information purposes only, and are not legal advice.

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Entry filed under: Human Resources (HR). Tags: , , , .

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