Hospital worker refuses flu shot and files lawsuit
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.