Nurses Sue Hospital Over Mandatory Flu Shots
Written by Editor   
Thursday, October 02, 2014 02:17 PM

The Massachusetts Nurses Association sued Brigham and Women’s Hospital this week, seeking to block a policy not yet in effect that would require nurses to get flu shots if they want to keep working there.

The Massachusetts Nurses Association, the union representing 3,200 nurses at the Brigham, said in its lawsuit that the hospital’s mandate, which could lead to the firing of employees who refuse vaccination, violates a state regulation that explicitly bars hospitals from requiring employees to the receive vaccine if they don’t want it, regardless of the reason.  The spokesman for the nurses’ union, called the regulation “crystal clear:  Every employee has a right to decline,” he said. “All they have to do is sign a form. They don’t have to give a reason.”

The regulation states: “A hospital shall not require an individual to receive an influenza vaccine” if the employee has medical or religious reasons for refusing or if “the individual declines the vaccine.”  Even so, a number of Massachusetts hospitals require flu vaccinations as a condition of employment.