Hospitals illegally firing nurses for refusing flu vaccines - page 2

by AQEELSMOM

9,499 Views | 97 Comments

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 vaccines in violation of state law,... Read More


  1. 3
    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?
    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).
  2. 2
    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.
    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.

    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.
    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?
    pmabraham and anotherone like this.
  3. 1
    They are already looking at the weight of nurses in Texas. It is not discrimination but a way to reduce employer healthcare costs. We were discussing this the other night on our shift. We expect our weigh ins to begin soon!
    anotherone likes this.
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    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.
  5. 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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
  10. 1
    it's only going to get worse with healthcare esme...no idea where we are going
    Esme12 likes this.


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