Hospital worker refuses flu shot and files lawsuit

By: October 6th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

A lawsuit was filed against AnMed, a hospital in Anderson, SC, by a hospital worker who refused to receive the mandatory flu shot provided by the hospital.

The policy, which went into affect early September, stated that all hospital workers must receive the flu shot or get fired to prevent the spread of the virus to both patients and staff, according to WYFF news.

Bertha Hunter is a cashier at the hospital and refused to receive the shot.  “This is me. I am standing up for me. I am not taking it because they want me to take it,” Hunter told the TV News station. She also never had a flu shot in her life.

The lawsuit filed by Hunter and her attorney, Charles Griffin, stated that  requiring employees to take the shot is a violation of their privacy. Griffin also told WYFF that he has requested a restraining order against the hospital forbidding it to fire employees who refuse the vaccination for non-medical reasons.

The hospital fired back showing their disappointment in the way people are handling the policy.  Hospitals are looking to control the spread of infections to patients and staff. Hospital Spokeswoman Heidi Charalambous told WYFF that by distributing the shot for infection control, it has the same effect as promoting hand washing and sterilizing hospital equipment.

Hospital employees who cannot receive the shot due to allergies are required to wear a surgical face mask while they are working, according to the report.

Do you think Bertha Hunter has a right to decline the shot? Or do you believe all hospital workers should be required to take the flu shot? Let us know in our comment section.

HCPro recently did a webcast on mandatory flu shots. Click on the link below for more information.

N avigate the sticky issues around mandatory flu shots
Seasonal and H1N1 influenza have prompted many healthcare facilities to consider mandatory influenza immunization for employees. The reaction from employees has been unmistakably vocal, as issues of patient safety and workers’ rights clash. HCPro’s Mandatory Influenza Vaccinations: Get Healthcare Staff Onboard at Your Facility, a 90-minute on-demand webcast will provide you with the medical and organizational perspectives for developing a mandatory influenza immunization policy.


The posters on this forum supporting vaccines would appear to be trolls on assignment from Big Pharma.

Forcing vaccines onto people is quite literally assault with a deadly weapon. Impasse.

Maybe giving a patient a disease that is at least preventable in many people “assult with a deadly weapon”.

Check the CDC web page and realize that those who die from the flu while hospitalized were admitted for a host of diseases which on their own could have lead to the demise of the patient. The flu, regardless of who transmitted it, was just one more straw for the camel’s back. Ironically, the CDC has not made a push to reduce MRSA in the hospital systems. It is fact that MRSA can live on a dry surface for over 3 months and yet MRSA has such little press. Why, oh yeah, MRSA is hard to kill and can not be prevented by vaccine. Big pharma side steps this topic and so does the CDC. Again I ask why? Could it be that MRSA is not profitable? I still search for clinical evidence that proves the vaccination for influenza has any impact on the public or healthcare workers. Where is the scientific evidence that proves the vaccination is working? The contrary is occuring in America, There is a pandemic of flu cases which indicates the vaccine fell short of its goal.

To Steve
The overall effectiveness of the vaccine looks like it is about 62% but only about 59% of the population has been immunized.
Yes- many of the patients have other problems that lead to the admissiom but being exposed to influenza is the “tipping point” for them. It remains about patient safety. And, I have been part of several collaboratives that have successfully reduced MRSA HAI spread in my facilites. Your information has some inaccuracies.
I hope that one day we will have a universal influenza vaccine (also in research at this time). but right now, what we have is better than nothing.
Oh by the way- there are many research projects underway to look at a vaccine against Staph aureus & MRSA.

Universal influenza vaccine or whatever they come up with, it should still be my body my choice!! I had a doctor finally admit that the push on flu vaccine was not about record he admitted it was about financial penalty from our government payers.!!!Less the 90% compliance. They chose to frame this as a patient care issue. Forcing a professional to inject something into there body is profoundly immoral. Values can only exist when there is freedom of choice!

My daughter had this arise at her place of employment. She fought back by pointing out the low effect rate of the flu vaccine with some studies say it will only work 60% of the time. She made a point of saying if you can guarantee me that this flu shot will 100% protect me, then I will take it.. Next, she pointed out that if they were going to require all employees to have a shot, then it only made since to restrict access to the hospital to only those who have had the current flu vaccine. This includes delivery personnel, visitors, contractual doctors, etc. etc. anyone entering the building would need the shot or why bother just vaccinating the employees only. It only takes one person to bring the flu virus into a building, It is not specific to employees only. She pointed out that over half of their patients are not vaccinated so she asked if they were going to refuse to treat those without a current vaccine.. Well, needless to say, the hospital dropped the policy and it has never came up again..

I can only speak for myself, I have never got the flu, and I may get a slight cold within a few years I just never get sick. I have been in my home with people with the flu and colds and it never affects me. So my point is why take it when I don’t even get sick. I hate waring a mask for 12 hours at work I can’t even breathe with it on. There is always someone who wants to be in control and force people to do what they want at any given time.

My place of employment also requires that we get the flu vaccine or wear a face mask whether we have patient contact or not. However, employees who come to work sick and coughing that DO have patient contact (front desk receptionists)are not required to wear a face mask. What’s wrong with this picture?

my employer required me to get a flu shot or wear a face mask whenever i went into patient areas. i worked in administrative upstairs from where patients were. i got the flu shot. i became very sick one day after getting the flu shot and was out 3 days with severe vomiting/diarrhea. in january, i contracted the flu and have lost a week of work. i had never got the flu shot before and never had the flu. i will never let an employer force me to get a flu shot again. it’s my body. i urge you to read this article:

No one has mentioned the alterior motive that hospitals have for forcing staff to get flu shots. It has to do with the affordable care act and reimbursement. If the hospital does not have 90% compliance with staff getting flu shots, their reimbursement for Medicaid, Medicare and the government sponsored health insurances is reduced. So you see its not necessarily about patient or staff safety, its about the money. Some institutions are actually reducing hospital employee health benefit coverage if they do not get the flu shot. This is a violation of human rights if I have ever seen one.

The hospital I work in has just announced that the flu short will required this year and a term of employment. This includes all employees including those in non-patient care areas. I have never had a flu shot and have not had the flu in over 30 years. Last year I was surrounded by sick co-workers (who had the flu shot and still go the flu) and I never got sick. This year I will be force to quit (or be fired) if I don’t get the shot. I have not yet decided what I will do.


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