Taking flu shot for workers to decide.
Byline: Bureau of Labor & Industries
Question: I am a small employer, and when someone is out sick it really has an impact on our operations. Because the cold and flu season
1. Unpleasantly loud and noisy: "There are those who find the trombones blatant and the triangle silly, but both add effective color" Musical Heritage Review. working against my interests by unnecessarily risking long absences when they are stricken with the flu! Lorena did not get a shot last year and was out with the flu for over a week, but I guess she didn't learn her lesson. So, I am thinking of making it mandatory for all employees to have a flu shot, and those who refuse will be disciplined for insubordination in·sub·or·di·nate
Not submissive to authority: has a history of insubordinate behavior.
When I mentioned this to Lorena she launched into a lengthy explanation about how her religion precludes her from getting vaccinations of any kind, but I cut her off, told her I don't want to hear any excuses, and reiterated that I just want her to get the shot.
I'm thinking that I will require employees to show me proof that they received a flu shot or they will not be allowed to use sick days to excuse absences. Another idea is to tell employees they have to get a shot or they will not receive a holiday bonus this year. What else can I do to force Debbie, Lorena and any other recalcitrant recalcitrant adjective Poorly responsive to therapy employees to get the flu vaccination vaccination, means of producing immunity against pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria, by the introduction of live, killed, or altered antigens that stimulate the body to produce antibodies against more dangerous forms. ?
Answer: None of the above! You may not require employees to get a flu shot; likewise, you may not discipline employees who refuse to get a flu shot. Further, it would not be proper for you to manipulate accrued sick leave or bonus dollars based on an employee's refusal to obtain a flu shot, which is akin to retroactively ret·ro·ac·tive
Influencing or applying to a period prior to enactment: a retroactive pay increase.
[French rétroactif, from Latin changing employee benefits.
There are actions an employer may take in order to increase chances that employees will be vaccinated against the flu. Examples include offering the flu shot at no cost, and/or making vaccinations available at the work site or other convenient location by scheduling a flu shot clinic.
There are many reasons - with which you may or may not agree - why an employee may genuinely not want to get a flu vaccination: religious convictions (consider Lorena's explanation), concerns about infection or adverse effects from the vaccine, commitment to naturopathic practices that discourage injection of chemical compounds, or simple fear of needles, just to name a few.
Thus an employer must limit its role in vaccinations to that of a facilitator, and avoid ultimatums and other efforts to force employees to be vaccinated.
The flu and the common cold do not generally qualify as a "serious health condition" under federal and state family leave laws (FMLA FMLA Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
FMLA Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance and OFLA OFLA Oregon Family Leave Act
OFLA Ohio Foreign Language Association ).
However, if an illness results in a period of incapacity The absence of legal ability, competence, or qualifications.
An individual incapacitated by infancy, for example, does not have the legal ability to enter into certain types of agreements, such as marriage or contracts. for more than three consecutive calendar days, and also involves either two or more treatments or a single treatment followed by a regimen regimen /reg·i·men/ (rej´i-men) a strictly regulated scheme of diet, exercise, or other activity designed to achieve certain ends.
1. of continuing treatment by a health care provider, it constitutes a serious health condition. In such cases, employers must allow leave (although the leave may be unpaid).
In situations when an employee's child has a cold, the flu, or other health condition that requires care but does not satisfy the definition of a serious health condition, OFLA provides for "sick child leave."
For more information on this and other important issues affecting Oregon employers, including seminars conducted by BOLI's Technical Assistance Unit, please visit our Web site at www.oregon.gov./boli/ta.