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I understand that the US has some strange labour laws, but unless you have signed some kind of contract that say you must carry out a medical procedure (eg shots) as directed by your employer, I can't see how on earth someone could enforce such a request.

Also, even if there is such a contract, I still don't think an employer can force you to take any medication or mandate what medical treatment you might subject yourself to - the worst I've heard of is making you do checkups at a specified interval, and perhaps testing for specific industrial poisons (such as radiation levels, etc).

The Last Archimedean

You want me to get a flu shot, YOU pay for it. Otherwise, fuhgeddabouddit.


I think if you work in a hospital, school or nursing home, or a place like that, yes, it should be required.


I think a question that needs to be asked, is why are you against the flu shot? Are you allergic to the ingredients, is it a religious bone of contention for you, or is it just the cost of the shot that is getting to you?

You mentioned not liking shots, and for the flu vaccine in many places in the US you can get one that is inhalable.

Also, if your boss is requiring you to get it, contact your state or commonwealth's labor department; they will tell you if he can force you and whether that means your boss has to pay for it. If he has to pay for the vaccine, I say go for it -- might as well reap the benefits especially if it ends up on his nickel.

As a rule, I get my flu shot yearly; a single shot or inhalation is MUCH preferable to being sick for a week or more.


If the flu shots can be reasonably linked with your job duties (health care, e.g., or possibly child care), then yes, you can be fired unless you can produce medical reasons for an exemption. Flu shots are strongly linked with fewer patient deaths in places like nursing homes.

If the job doesn't involve direct patient contact, the legal grounds are murkier. However, many states are "at will" anyway, so you can be fired for pretty much any reason or no reason at all.


Wow unbelievably it is legal in about 15 states for employers in health related fields to require this but in all cases the employer is required to pay for it, to the best of my knowledge. So if you are against it I would look into your particular states laws. If it is legal in your state but it violates your personal religion then be sure to contact a lawyer and have them help you with filling out a religous exemption form. However if you work at a video store or something like that it probably isn't legal.
At will state or not you still have rights, it just isn't usually worth the time and money to enforce them. Regardless of whether or not you work in an at will state your emplloyer can not require medical procedures with out a good cause such as working at a hospital or nursing home. Even though that is the case it might be easier overall to just find another job, than to fight your employer about it.


i can understand being required to get one in some professions, but if your job isnt one that deals with sick/elderly/children, then i dont see how they can make you get one.

i personally will not get one anymore for two reasons. 1) i cant afford it and 2) every time i have gotten a flu shot in the past, i have gotten horribly sick.


There is NO WAY to get sick from the flu shot. You are either sick before hand or got a cold after. You may have gotten a reaction to the antigens, which is normal for some people and the reason the vaccine works (your body sends antibodies to fight off the invading pathogens). But there are no live viruses in the vaccine, so there is no way to get sick.

I work/volunteer/study (all 3) in the emergency medical field and just did a 35 page research paper on the flu, so trust me when I say, there is NO WAY to get sick from the vaccine. Period.

And yes, I am required by school to have the flu shot, which they do not pay for.


I agree that if the profession has nothing to do with children/the medical field then the shot shouldn't be required, and if it is, the employer should pay. I don't understand it, but EVERY YEAR I have decided to get the flu shot, I've gotten sick as a dog for several weeks a few days later (seems like the flu to me; aches, chills, fever). Every year I decide to chance not getting it, I don't get sick. So, personally, no more flu shots for me.

Damn Yankee

If your employer wants to require it, and it's not mandated by the state (such as postal workers, state hospital workers, teachers, so forth), I can see strongly suggesting an employee get a flu vaccination. Requiring it, I don't know. I do know that in my state, at least, if an employer requires something, the company has to pick up at least part of the cost. Example: I needed to make a binder. I bought the materials and was reimbursed for it through the company.

The Last Archimedean

I don't feel like engaging in a debate about whther you can get sick from a vaccine [by the way, FRS, the answer is yes. And you should insist that the school compensate you for something they are forcing you to do: having to pay for it out of your own pocket is total bullcrap.] So I'll simply list some references.

[All of these are books]

Vaccination, Social Violence and Criminality [Coulter]

A Shot in the Dark [Coulter]

A Dose of Sanity [Walker]

Radical Medicine [L. Williams]

Viral Immunity [J. Williams]

Reclaiming Our Health [Robbins & Williamson]

Thugs, Drugs and the War on Bugs [Case]

*I* certainly am no authority. That's why I read books by those who have been in the field. They would know a whole lot more than me.


Last year the Flu went through our store and nearly half of our employees were out sick. Made for some hard times since we were barely able to run the store--the upper management considered making everyone one get a Flu shot this year, but decided against it. Probably because they didn't want to pay for it. Instead they did a "Get your flu shot here" expo around Nov. It was open for members as well as employees--employees getting a discount. I think with the employee discount it was still more expensive than other places.

I didn't get one, but I have an egg allergy and the few times when I had to get a Flu shot I was horribly ill and one time had to have a shot since my lungs had started to swell shut on me. So no Flu shots for me.


You get to choose what goes in your body. Unless a flu shot requirement is written into an agreement that you signed when you were hired, they do not have any right to insist that you do this, whether they are paying for it or not. Period.


My store offers flu shots for free if you get it from the pharmacy and do it during your shift. They can't FORCE us but they can ENCOURAGE you until you go insane. I can't get the flu shot - I'm mildly allergic to eggs and the pharmacist won't give it to me, he doesn't want me to go into anaphylactic shock on him.
Last year I walked my manager over and had the pharmacist explain to him WHY I couldn't get a flu shot because he didn't understand how eggs making me queasy factored into it.

Sarah Park

I'd agree to have a flu shot if the company will pay for it. Since they are asking for it, then they should shoulder the expenses.

danny b


"I think a question that needs to be asked, is why are you against the flu shot? Are you allergic to the ingredients, is it a religious bone of contention for you, or is it just the cost of the shot that is getting to you?"

I think it doesn't matter why, I just don't want one myself. In their case it's their body so they should be able to make their own decision for whatever reason.


At least in Ontario, legally they can't make you. I work in a hospital as a nurse, and even we aren't legally required to get one. HOWEVER, if someone doesn't get the flu shot, and an outbreak does occur, that person is not allowed to work. So if the outbreak lasts a month and you didn't get your flu shot, that's a month where you're not working, and therefore get no pay. It all comes down to how much you're willing to risk it. I get my flu shot. My brother works at the same hospital as a psyche attendant, and is deathly afraid of needles (it's hilarious, he hyperventilates and everything, and my brother is a giant ex-football player. Funniest thing ever), doesn't get it and just hopes there's no outbreak.

J Bailey

My employer (home health agency) strongly encouraged employees to get the flu shot and we got it for free. If required to get the shot then they should pay for it.


Aside from sinus infections and the like stemming from my dust allergies, I'm virtually never sick. I've never gotten a flu shot, and at 28, don't believe I've ever had the flu. For the record, I've worked at a movie theatre that does about 300k/year for almost a decade now, so I'm either really lucky, or fairly resilient to flu.


I almost hate to suggest this, but if your boss is really that insistent, slap a band-aid on your arm, and tell him you got the shot. Yes, lie. And, if you happen to actually get the flu later on, it won't blow the lie...it's actually fairly common for people to get a flu shot and still get the flu.

No shot!

In case anyone is curious, I work as a cashier in a retail food service setting and my boss is now totally debillitated by what I'm asuming is the flu (a cold is just as likely but a flu seems so much jucier.)
As far as why I don't want it, it just gives me the creeps, and I have a pretty good immune system as it is, I'm still as strong as an ox while half of my co workers (some got the shot, some didn't) are totally miserable and under the weather.
I'm starting to think that the boss man just sent that email in a desperate attempt to save an already sinking ship. Thank you for all the advice and conversation!
-Didn't have to get a shot!
ps: thanks everyone for not totally tearing me a new one with the weren't. This is why I have to stop trying to multitask, I am no good at it.


I would like to answer those who feel ill a few days after the shot. The fever, chills, and other awful symptoms you get with flu are caused by your immune system reacting to the virus. So it isn't surprising that the same symptoms happen when your body reacts to the dead virus in the shot. However, after the shot, you do NOT have a potentially deadly infection and are NOT contagious. You just feel like crap. FormerRetailServant is right.
You don't have to get the shot if you don't want to; but if you work in health care or child care, your employer may not want to keep you in your job. Some people die of the flu.


You can tell your boss that you got it, however, because of hippa act, they cannot ask for proof. Bingo, Bango..

Fyi, the flu vaccine is technically tax deductible, but often not worth it!

But TLA, you can't say that you won't get into a debate and tell someone they're wrong all at once. That's like starting an argument and then putting your fingers in your ears.

The Last Archimedean

Lamer, if you want to go and read the references I supplied, feel free to do so. If you still disagree with my position after doing so, I'm not going to try and convince you I'm right.


At the clinic where I work, the owner "strongly encourages" everyone to get their shot, which is paid for by the clinic. Even though we're all in the thick of it and the chances of not being exposed are less than zero, some people still try to weasel out of getting it. Basically the owner won't force anyone to get the shot, but if they don't get it and they come down with the flu, they can't work until they test negative for antigen. No sick days or PTO? Too bad. A missed paycheck is usually enough to convince someone to suck it up and get their shot.


How idiotic can people be? Of course you can get the flu from a flu shot. Why you ask? Because people aren't fucking perfect bad batches go out sometimes and aren't caught. In a perfect world this wouldn't happen, but guess what this world is far from perfect.


Sorry TLS, but anything by a homeopath like Harris Coulter has all the academic merit of snorting LSD mixed with bleach and rubbing what dribbles out of your nose on the page.

Coulter and his ilk are *wrong* about vaccination.


Even if the symptoms they are having are the effects of the body reacting to the dead vaccine, it is small consolation to that person that they don't "really" have the flu. They might as well have it, they have all the symptoms!

I personally won't get a flu shot. I definitely believe you can get the flu from the shot, or you can have the symptoms while becoming immune but like I said, just as bad. Plus the fact that the yearly flu shots are only for ONE strain of flu - whichever they think will be most common that year. There are tons of other strains you could catch and they mutate constantly. And interestingly I saw on the news that getting the flu shot only gives you a 60% chance of preventing the flu. Washing your hands? 80% chance.

I think I'll take my chances.


Tell your boss you got it, he will never know. After all, whether you get the shot or not, you can still get the flu or another cold. Whether to get that shot should be up to you (unless you are military or in the health care field) but it isn't worth fighting over. If he does find out you lied, then you can go to his boss about it if he writes you up-at which point he will be more likely to get in trouble than you-but I'd avoid him finding out!


Tla, I'm not arguing methods, or the vaccines. I'm arguing the fact that you can't say, ” I'm right” and end the argument.

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