Health Impact News Editor Comments: We reported in January that the new influx of healthcare facilities making the flu shot mandatory for their employees is NOT motivated by patient safety, but by financial considerations in being reimbursed for Medicare and Medicaid due to new quotas in the “Affordable Healthcare Act,” more popularly known as “Obamacare.” To continue receiving government funding, healthcare facilities are being required to have a 90% compliance with employees receiving the flu vaccine. Read the story here. Now, healthcare employees across the country are starting to fight back.
Requiring Employees to Get a Flu Shot Could Land You in Court
New Jersey employers want to take every precaution to keep their staff healthy and on the job. However, as a Rhode Island lawsuit highlights, requiring employees to get a flu shot can lead also lead to legal headaches.
Rhode Island is one of several states that require vaccinations for all health care workers. Under the state’s regulations, health care workers are required to get a flu shot during “any declared period in which the flu is widespread.” Unless workers are medically exempted, those who refuse are required to wear a mask when directly treating patients. Health care workers who violate the regulations can also be fined $100 per violation and each such violation constitutes ”unprofessional conduct” with regard to their professional licenses.
Shortly after the regulations took effect, SEIU Healthcare Employees Union District 1199, a labor organization representing health care employees throughout Rhode Island, filed a lawsuit. The union points to the lack of scientific evidence that higher rates of vaccination of healthcare workers result in fewer cases of influenza among patients. It also argues that mask wearing compromises patient care by reducing the ability to communicate effectively.
Read the Full Article Here: http://www.politickernj.com/dscarinci/62789/requiring-employees-get-flu-shot-could-land-you-court
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