Monday, October 12, 2009
Mandatory Flu Shots
Various employers, mostly healthcare providers, are now mandating that workers take flu shots.
Would you want to require your employees to take mandatory flu shots?
Of course you would. The flu shot is a safe and effective way of preventing loss to your workforce. Not only are you talking about the loss of productivity of sick and absent workers, you may also be looking at paid sick leave, and increased insurance costs as employees' trips to the doctor add up. Some of those receiving the shot may have low grade fevers, soreness at the injection site, and or achiness. But the cost-benefit analysis makes a vaccinated employee better than a nonvaccinated one.
There may be backlash though, as some workers will balk at the notion of being forced to take the shots. But how many will balk? Are some of those who balk workers you might not want anyway?
Can you even do that? Ask your lawyer. The federal obstacles you are faced with are the ADA, Title VII's religious discrimination aspects, and HIPPA. You may also have state laws to deal with.
Alternatives to mandate
Alternatives to a mandated shot could be giving time off to take the shot, paying for all or part of the shot, or giving some other perk for taking the shot.