Despite the current COVID-19 pandemic, it cannot be overlooked that we have entered flu season. As an Employer, you may be asking yourself: Can I mandate my employees to receive a flu vaccination? The short answer, in most cases, in the absence of a state or local law to the contrary, is “yes.” But, your rationale for requiring a flu vaccination for your employees must be based on objective facts, tied to your employees’ job description, and administered consistently. As with everything though, there are limitations to any mandate. For example, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has stated that, even during a pandemic, employees may be entitled to an exemption from a mandatory flu vaccination based on an ADA-covered disability. Likewise, an employee may be exempt due to their religious belief, practices, or observances. Accordingly, if your employee does claim an exemption, you must be sure to engage in, and document, any exchange with that employee and determine whether a reasonable accommodation can be made to enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the job without compromising workplace safety.
Notably though, don’t just rush out and demand that your employees receive a flu shot. The first step to any flu vaccination mandate is developing and publishing a policy detailing your expectations related to the flu vaccination and providing a clear explanation as to how an employee may request an exemption or accommodation to that policy. To learn more about mandating a flu vaccination at your business and/or drafting a flu vacation policy, contact the Employment Lawyers at Chauvel & Glatt.
The material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute, legal advice or promise similar outcomes. For information on your particular circumstances, please contact Chauvel & Glatt at 650-573-9500.