Hospitals illegally firing nurses for refusing flu vaccines - page 2

Apologies if this has been posted somewhere else. I'm using the mobile app and am still getting the hang of things. What are your thoughts? Hospitals illegally firing nurses for refusing flu... Read More

  1. Visit  AQEELSMOM profile page
    2
    Quote from Sweet_Wild_Rose

    If I recall correctly, there is indeed a hospital out there that has been discussed on this board who has BMI restrictions on new hires. My facility tests for nicotine as a pre-employment requirement. If you test positive, you will not be permitted to work in the facility and cannot reapply for 6 months (and still must test nicotine free).
    Really?? Wow. That's crazy.
    CareQueen and anotherone like this.
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  3. Visit  MunoRN profile page
    1
    Quote from AQEELSMOM
    This isn't a fair comparison though. A nurse who doesn't receive a flu vaccine is no less capable nor less willing to do their job. It's not an issue of ethics here to me as I see it - it's an issue of autonomy over ones body and what one chooses to put in ones body.
    Part of a Nurse's job is to comply with policies intended to provide for patient safety. A Nurse who refuses to comply with these policies is therefor less willing to do their job.

    Quote from AQEELSMOM
    But don't flu vaccines only protect one from certain strains of flu? And this is besides the fact that no one knows whether someone is going to even get the flu or not.

    Are these kinds of decisions based on any kind of studies, or just purely preventative "just in case" measures?
    This year it contains 3 strains, in any given year the vaccine contains whatever strains are most likely to appear in the US.

    Hospitals make this decision, at least in part, based on recommendations from groups such as the CDC, which recommends mandatory universal vaccinations for health care personnel.

    There isn't sufficient evidence accurately determine the effect of immunizing caregivers, but we do know that flu vaccines significantly reduces the incidence of the flu in those who are vaccinated, which in turn makes for fewer "vectors" to spread the flu to compromised patient populations. It's true we can't predict exactly which health care workers will get the flu, which is why universal immunizations are recommended.
    llg likes this.
  4. Visit  mariebailey profile page
    2
    Quote from AQEELSMOM
    Which goes back to my previous question, why does the law not protect ones choices about their own healthcare? In the workplace specifically.

    Could a hospital not then take it a step further and say, we don't hire obese people because they can't move as efficiently as fit people, we don't hire smokers because they take too many breaks, we don't hire people with a history of depression (unless they go on a pre approved list of antidepressants) because they might get sad and miss work?
    There are actually hospitals who administer nicotine tests to potential hires and refuse to hire those who test positive. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects those with mental illness from employment discrimination. As for obese people, I got nothin' for ya.
    tewdles and anotherone like this.
  5. Visit  Racer15 profile page
    1
    As of this year, all employees at my hospital must have the flu vaccine, or lose their jobs. It's not illegal.
    RNinC likes this.
  6. Visit  Jennerizer profile page
    2
    It's another one of those things that looks good on paper because JCAHO is pushing for 80% of hospital employees to be vaccinated. These hospitals that are firing employees for not complying...makes me wonder if everyone in administration is also under the same rules. Or are they the 20% that are allowed exemption without any consequences?

    My hospital hasn't gotten that brutal (yet). If someone refuses the vaccine, they have to wear a surgical mask everywhere inside the hospital...except the break room.
    tewdles and anotherone like this.
  7. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    8
    I think this needs to be challenged in a court of law. You MUST take a shot, you must be thin, you may not smoke, we don't hire redheads....the list will grow. America is the land of the free and the brave....? IMHO.... It's a slippery slope we've begun to follow.
    etymed, nrsang97, tewdles, and 5 others like this.
  8. Visit  missnurse01 profile page
    1
    it's only going to get worse with healthcare esme...no idea where we are going
    Esme12 likes this.
  9. Visit  elkpark profile page
    2
    Quote from Esme12
    I think this needs to be challenged in a court of law. You MUST take a shot, you must be thin, you may not smoke, we don't hire redheads....the list will grow. America is the land of the free and the brave....? IMHO.... It's a slippery slope we've begun to follow.
    Again, they're not holding anyone down and giving them the vaccination against their will -- they're just saying that, if you don't want to take the shot, you're welcome to seek employment elsewhere, somewhere that doesn't have that as a condition of employment. Aren't employers also "the free and the brave"? They have the right to set whatever workplace and employee conditions they see as necessary to promote good care and outcomes in their workplaces, as long as they're not violating state or Federal labor and EO laws. And employees have the right to work somewhere else if they don't like a particular facility/organization's requirements. "Freedom" cuts both ways.
    paradiseboundRN and anotherone like this.
  10. Visit  olddragger profile page
    2
    I wish it was that simple elkpark. Your reasoning may be acceptable for new hires,but what about those that have been at a facility for many years? For these nurses it is not that simple.
    It is also questionably illegal for an employee to make a condition change at work that results in higher paid employees leaving and then replace them with lower paid workers. It is questionably illegal for any employee that mandates their employees to take a vaccination that is ineffective. It is questionably illegal for employees to make their workers wear an embarrassing surgical mask in a punitive fashion.
    This was a very bad move that hospitals have taken and I think they at some point they will realize this.
    etymed and lindarn like this.
  11. Visit  funfunfun550 profile page
    1
    Quote from MunoRN
    This isn't discrimination. Employers have the right to not employ those who refuse to meet the requirements of the job, which for Nurses includes complying with patient safety measures as defined by the facility and the organizations that guide them.

    If I apply at McDonalds, but say that I have an ethical objection to serving or even being in a building that serves meat, they aren't discriminating against me for not hiring me. I don't have the right get paid for something I refuse to do.

    Employers are required to make attempts to accommodate so long as there is not an undue burden on the employer, although they aren't required to move Nurses who refuse flu shots into non-clinical roles for 4-6 months out of the year.

    There are measures that should be implemented in combination with vaccines, but they aren't alternatives to vaccines.
    Everyone at my employment must get the vaccine/clinical or not. It is a condition of employment. There are many people lined up to fill their position. The thing about the good ole USA no one forces you to work somewhere.. it IS a matter of choice.I got sick after my vaccine...missed a day.. guess what it is still an occurrence...and they admitted that up to 50% of persons taking the vaccine they gave us are known to have some type of untoward effect. Their solution..they will not give us the same one next year per employee health(no duh....that would not be very effective since the viral strains will have mutated into something else by then).Most of the untoward effects have been severe itching right after the injection. What I love is how they don't wash their hands in between administration...and we pride ourselves on handwashing.. hire people to implement countless measures on handwashing but we as employees are not worthy of having someone wash their hands before and between(employees) and of course after giving immunizations?
    anotherone likes this.
  12. Visit  elkpark profile page
    4
    Quote from olddragger
    I wish it was that simple elkpark. Your reasoning may be acceptable for new hires,but what about those that have been at a facility for many years? For these nurses it is not that simple.
    It is also questionably illegal for an employee to make a condition change at work that results in higher paid employees leaving and then replace them with lower paid workers. It is questionably illegal for any employee that mandates their employees to take a vaccination that is ineffective. It is questionably illegal for employees to make their workers wear an embarrassing surgical mask in a punitive fashion.
    This was a very bad move that hospitals have taken and I think they at some point they will realize this.
    My current employer doesn't require flu shots (although it very, very, very strongly encourages them ), but it did institute a new policy last year, for infection control purposes, that artificial nails and gel manicures are now forbidden, new hires and current employees alike, and continuing to violate the policy is a firing offense. Your fake nails had to be gone by some specific date, or you were out of a job, end of story. Is that also "questionably illegal"? I work for a large academic medical center that has a very competent and savvy legal department; I'm guessing they consulted with the legal department in the process of developing and instituting the policy. Can the current employees who really like their artificial nails take the medical center to court? Who says that the flu shot is "ineffective"? The CDC, NIH, ACIP, and HICPAC all recommend all healthcare workers be vaccinated every year, have for many years, and there is lots of research and data on the flu vaccine over the years. Obviously, that's no guarantee that the shot is effective for every individual (nor is any other vaccine), but a healthcare employer wanting all its employees vaccinated is not some wacky, out-of-left-field notion -- it's a pretty mainstream expectation. I'm guessing the hospitals are on pretty solid legal ground here.
    CareQueen, Rose_Queen, lindarn, and 1 other like this.
  13. Visit  Kittypower123 profile page
    1
    The job of a hospital or other healthcare facility is to provide an environment of healing for the patients. This includes protection against facility acquired illness. Influenze can be particularly harmful to patients in the hospital who already have compromised health. A person infected with influenza will spread it to others before he or she even knows she has it. That is one of the reasons why flu spreads so effectively.

    Flu vaccinations reduce the number of nurses who could spread the flu to patients. Requiring vaccination is a policy aimed at protecting patients from acquiring flu while in the hospital. Generally, there are provisions for those who cannot receive the vaccine. Since certain people, for medical reasons, cannot be vaccinated, those people must take other measures to reduce the risk of passing flu on to the patients. Requiring non-vaccinated nurses to wear masks during flu season is not a punitive measure but a preventative one.
    elkpark likes this.
  14. Visit  That Guy profile page
    4
    I stopped reading once I saw the URL


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