Hospitals illegally firing nurses for refusing flu vaccines - page 6

by AQEELSMOM

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
    Oh geez, I really don't think this has anything to do with protecting the patients or even the staff. The hospitals are doing this more with the financial bottom-line in mind. You really want to protect patients? Provide adequate staffing. Not just in numbers, but well rested, not overworked. Give all staff a gym membership and a monthly gift card to a health food store. The key to a healthy immune system is a lot more than just a few shots.

    I know everyone is different. Some people get the flu shot every year and stay healthy that way. Personally, the years I have gotten sickest were those I had to get the flu shot (in nursing school). Every year since, I have turned it down, and barely gotten the sniffles.
    I have a pretty healthy immune system on my own and don't see the point in forcibly injecting even an attenuated virus into my body. At my office, 3-4 of the ladies have had the flu. I hope I am not jinxing myself, but so far, nada for me. Close environment, poor air circulation and all.

    I'm not saying no one should be getting it, nor am I saying everyone should. I would be totally fine with having the option of 'get the shot or wear the mask'. Mask for me, any day.
    sharee1027, morte, and anotherone like this.
  2. 0
    Quote from olddragger
    So its wrong to question? It's wrong to insist on evidence proven research?
    IMHO nursing/employee compliance is what a lot of people and facilities count on to do whatever they want.
    If you truly want to be a patient advacant ( yes people receiving the flu shots are patients!) then know all you can concerning whatever you are about to do to them.
    The flu shot has a place, but the hype around it is very misleading. "Lets just comply"????????


    GRPMAN---it's one thing concerning new hires--its a totally different matter concerning people that have been employed by the facility for years. For example--would it be ok to fire a nurse for gaining "too much weight", or now having to take antidepressants (for a variety of reasons). Would it be ok to fire someone if they were in a car wreck and lost the sight of one eye? No--I dont think it would --would it? So it's ok to fire someone that doesnt want to take an ineffective vaccination?
    You are right. It would be wrong to fire someone for being obese (wow...can we say lawsuit for bad terminology). However, if obesity interferes with being able to do the minimum requirements of a job then you would be wrong.

    I responded to one point of a post. I never said or implied it was okay to fire someone for not getting vaccinated. Although I understand the point, I thought it was a stretch to relate nicotine and obesity to vaccination requirements.

    My mind isn't made up on the vaccination debate, I'm still googling for a few more answers. But, it is fun to read, learn, and debate with you until I figure it out. In the meantime, I'm getting my flu shot.
  3. 0
    Thats fair and appreciated. You are certainly doing the correct thing in educating yourself.
    As ludicrous as its sounds an employer cannot just fire an employee because of obesity, even if it is interfering with job performance. Read the Disabilities act. Employers have a responsibly to try and comply with an employees disabilities and obesity that developed after the employee was hired could fall under that umbrella.

    The flu shot has a use--it just--- should not be mandatory. I agree that it is a stretch to compare it with the other stuff mentioned but once a precedence is set crazy things happen. Five years ago I would have never though my hospital would mandate that I receive a shot that may or may not work agaisnt 3 virus's out of hundreds that may cause the flu. And I have to do this every year. Crazy.
    Since this is coming from CMS, politicians will have to become involved. So contact yalls senators and representatives.
  4. 0
    Quote from Sweet_Wild_Rose
    The employer is not forcing anyone to take drugs or receive vaccines they do not want; if they do not want them, they are free to work elsewhere. The hospital is looking out for itself: fewer staff calling out sick, staff not infecting each other or patients because they come to work sick.
    Then what is called ,if within one hospital, some nurses are fired,some are not,some laid off, for refusing the SAME thing(vaccination)?
  5. 0
    Quote from MeggieA
    Then what is called ,if within one hospital, some nurses are fired,some are not,some laid off, for refusing the SAME thing(vaccination)?
    If the facility is unfairly utilizing a policy, that is one thing and should be addressed. However, these nurses knew what would happen by refusing the vaccine. Again, if one cannot abide by the policies of one's workplace, the hospital has the legal right to terminate the employee- I'm not quite sure why the OP titled this thread with the word "illegally".

    With the situation you describe, there may be extenuating circumstances, such as a grace period (my facility suspended for 7 days before termination for the employee to get a flu shot at their own expense), a granted exemption (my facility offered those, with supporting documentation, and required a mask to be worn at all times, from walking through the door at the beginning of a shift until walking out at the end), and other things you or others may not be aware of.
  6. 0
    Quote from AQEELSMOM
    True they're not forcing anyone, they are just discriminating against those who don't want to comply.
    So true.
  7. 0
    Quote from Maremma
    Well this topic is certainly a hot one. Quite ironically my facility is still one that does not require the flu shot to maintain employment but for anyone that does not accept the shot must wear a face mask whenever they will be within 5 ft of a patient.
    The past two years I had accepted the shots and both times had increasing problems right after. (I have an autoimmune issue and have problems with many many things I put in my body) I also still contracted the flu even with the shot last year.
    So this year I gave up and said no to the shot and yes to the mask.I also decided I am wearing it at ALL times, not just around patients but also around other staff. It only came off on my way out the door at the end of my shift.Using paper towels to open doors as I went.
    The flu came into our facility via a new admission. Of course it spread before they decided to even think about quarantine. Of course it began getting staff as well as patients.The ones who took the shots were dropping like flies. Those of us with full time masks on were not.
    The "big problem" with those of us that chose the mask over the apparently useless shot was that we were the ones carrying the load for all the other staff out sick because they refused to wear masks. Working short and overtime for weeks. Exhausted and burned out increased mistakes of course followed.
    Let me tell you the amount of masks we are going through would certainly far exceed the cost of those shots if ALL staff were required to wear them the entire flu season, at all times and change them every time they leave a room with known sick patients in them. Not even just when leaving a room.
    It seems to me if the medical facilities REALLY cared about patient safety they would require all staff to be wearing masks rather than taking shots the entire flu season. It has certainly proven to be far more effective than the vaccines at my facility.

    They would immediately quarantine any suspect patient rather than wait for it to spread wile waiting for the tests to come back confirming it as a flu strain. They would not allow admissions to the quarantine floors. They would not allow sick employees to be at work at all. They would not continue to send clearly ill patients to physical therapy to spread it even further all the while PRETENDING to be on quarantine lock down. They would not have housekeeping sanitize the door knobs and handrails one single time and then continue to allow patients to come and go putting the germs right back on them. They would not refuse to report to state immediately when known flu and norovirus cases are in the building. (thus making it impossible to accept new admissions until facility clears)

    It is and has always been about money and just barely sqeaking by with any laws or regs imposed on them as cheaply as possible.
    Accepting those shots is not protecting your patients. It is protecting THEIR pocketbook. Don't be fooled. Masks are the safest way to go for both patient and staff.
    Great post and true in my opinion.I have posted quite abit in the forum for 'nurses fired for refusing...' Such hype and discriminatory practices being done surrounding this flu issue.
  8. 0
    Quote from azure42
    Given the current amount of scientific evidence out there, I cannot help but wonder if forced compliance is warranted. The fact of the matter is, the vaccine does not provide 100% protection, and with this in mind....the argument for mandatory immunization rapidly falls into the realm of fallacy.

    On the other hand....I can't imagine working with immunocompromised patients and not getting my flu shot!!! No way. I get the shot, and sleep better at night because of it.

    At the end of the day, however, both perspectives offer compelling evidence, and both perspectives deserve respect. What I (personally) find counter-productive are the, "well if you don't like it, go seek work somewhere else" comments. This, to me, is sour grapes. People SHOULD question whether or not their conceptual rights/civil liberties are being infringed upon.

    On the other hand, refusing the flu shot does place our patients at significant risk....is this appropriate and ethical nursing care?


    What professional associations support mandated influenza vaccination among Health Care Personnel?
    American Academy of Family Physicians
    American Academy of Pediatrics
    American College of Physicians
    American Hospital Association
    American Medical Directors Association
    American Pharmacists Association
    American Public Health Association
    Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology
    Infectious Diseases Society of America
    National Business Group on Health
    National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
    National Patient Safety Foundation
    Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America

    Nursing Center - Journal Article
    http://www.thecochranelibrary.com/us...e/CD001269.pdf
    http://assets.usw.org/resources/heal..._Vaccine-1.pdf
    http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/documen...ax%20FINAL.pdf
    Early Estimates of Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness United States, January 2013


    I can't help but notice you listed alot of Academies and Associations.Pharmceuticals and Healthcare)are one of the largest lobbies in Washington.Also, another tidbit, Harvard Medical School is funded heavily by Big Pharma and is now trying to break ties.Only,though,because of public awareness and pressure.
  9. 0
    Quote from Jeweles26
    Oh geez, I really don't think this has anything to do with protecting the patients or even the staff. The hospitals are doing this more with the financial bottom-line in mind. You really want to protect patients? Provide adequate staffing. Not just in numbers, but well rested, not overworked. Give all staff a gym membership and a monthly gift card to a health food store. The key to a healthy immune system is a lot more than just a few shots.

    I know everyone is different. Some people get the flu shot every year and stay healthy that way. Personally, the years I have gotten sickest were those I had to get the flu shot (in nursing school). Every year since, I have turned it down, and barely gotten the sniffles.
    I have a pretty healthy immune system on my own and don't see the point in forcibly injecting even an attenuated virus into my body. At my office, 3-4 of the ladies have had the flu. I hope I am not jinxing myself, but so far, nada for me. Close environment, poor air circulation and all.

    I'm not saying no one should be getting it, nor am I saying everyone should. I would be totally fine with having the option of 'get the shot or wear the mask'. Mask for me, any day.
    Great post.Also, I refuse the flu shots,never had a flu.
  10. 1
    Quote from MunoRN
    First, it's not illegal. The doesn't actually require employers to honor religious beliefs, they just need a business related reason not to, an argument hospitals can make.

    Second, opposition to vaccines isn't a religious belief. It's a personal belief held by people who sometimes also happens to be religious. Legally, religious beliefs have to be well established and commonly held within a particular religious group. The basis of a religion based opposition to vaccines is that preventing disease interferes with God's plan, which would then also mean one would have to shun healthcare in general to cite a religious opposition. A Nurse trying to argue that they consider the prevention or treatment of disease to be a sin is pretty much an opposing lawyer's wet dream.
    New York nurses in Albany fought the mandate and were successful.I would not be so quick to say it isn't illegal.More and more nurses are mad and there are some banning together to fight.
    Strength in numbers.No, one or two nurses won't make a difference but get enough together for a civil action then see what would happen.This is such a new concept for facilities ,to mandate,terminate,etc. This has not happened before to the extent we are seeing now. The hospitals have an upper hand right now and can say anything they want.They have not really been challenged YET. Once affected employees realize the inconsistencies and discriminatory practices of some of these facilities then maybe action will be taken. I am curious as to whether we will be seeing a law firm advertise on tv,"if you are a healthcare worker who was...." If people stay dumbed down then these mandates are going to become a given and we will have noone to blame but ourselves.

    I interpret the basis of religion based opposition to vaccines is that preventing disease does NOT interfere with God's plan. I personally would never believe God wants us diseased! I believe he wants us to try and stay healthy and strong by living in a more NATURAL existence (healthy foods,exercise,etc).The rate alot of Americans are going in healthwise(poor diets,poor exercise,drugs,etc)a majority most likely WILL BECOME diseased as confirmed by the increase in cancer,childhood diseases,etc.The flu vaccine is NOT proven to be all that safe or effective(this year more vaccinated-now a pandemic?).I refused the shot based on my personal rights.Note that this exemption is not on the refusal forms BUT religious exemption is! Think of the number of people who would check off the personal exemption box if they knew they could NOT be terminated.Couldn't have that could we?
    pmabraham likes this.


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