Healthcare Facility Did Not Violate Antidiscrimination Law in Firing Employee Who Refused Influenza Vaccine, Court Rules
September 5, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care
A New Jersey appellate court, in a non-precedent-setting opinion, concluded that a healthcare facility did not violate the state anti-discrimination law when it terminated an employee who refused to obtain a flu shot, according to a report from the July 2017 issue of Zarin's Medical Liability Alert (subscription required). The employer had a policy requiring all employees to receive annual influenza vaccination unless they had a documented medical or religious reason for refusing the vaccine. The employee, a community health educator, requested medical exemption, claiming that she feared the shot because she had an adverse reaction to a flu shot in 1998. The organization's medical director denied her request. The employee refused vaccination. She was suspended without pay for one week and then her employment was terminated in accordance with the policy.