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Should Employers Be Able to Fire Employees Who Refuse to Get a Flu Shot?

Eight employees at an Indiana hospital were recently fired after refusing to be vaccinated against the flu.

Where do an employee's rights end? Is it reasonable to expect those employed in certain occupation submit to mandatory vaccinations?

ABC News reports that eight employees at Indiana University Health Goshen Hospital were recently fired after refusing to participate in a mandatory vaccination program. The hospital maintains the flu shot requirement was implemented in the interest of patient safety.

"IU Health's top priority is the health and wellbeing of our patients," said hospital spokeswoman Whitney Ertel in a released statement. "Participation in the annual Influenza Patient Safety Program is a condition of employment with IU Health for the health and safety of the patients that we serve, and is therefore required."

The hospital employs 26,000 people and 95 percent of those employees complied with the mandate. According to ABC News, 1,300 employees did not comply, but only eight were fired.

Two of those fired cited religious beliefs as a reason for not getting the vaccine.

“I feel very God-led in that we use natural alternatives in our home and have for 20-plus years. We feel like that’s the way healing happens,” former hospice nurse Sue Schrock told Fox News.

Flu is a highly contagious illness and can be spread before the infected person begins showing symptoms. Is it reasonable to expect that hospital employees get a flu shot? Would it be reasonable for other employers to mandate their employees get a flu shot in order to obtain a healthy work force? Would it be reasonable to mandate that any employee in a job that requires interaction with a large number of others (teachers, public safety employees, retail workers, etc.) be vaccinated to prevent the spread of the flu? Let us know in the comments.

You might also be interested in reading:

  • Have You Had a Flu Shot Yet?
  • Is It Too Late to Get a Flu Shot?

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