Hospital Workers Sue Over Mandatory Flu Shot
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Hospital Workers Sue Over Mandatory Flu Shot

By Kimberly Mirando


flu shot(LEGAFI) -- Flu season is here, which means many people are getting their annual flu shots. But that doesn’t mean everyone wants to get one -- including Bertha Hunter, who has filed a potential class action lawsuit against her employer AnMed Health for imposing a mandatory flu-shot policy for its employees.


AnMed Health, a medical center with over 30 locations in South Carolina, sent a memo to employees September 15, 2010 that told them flu shots “will be required for all AnMed Health employees as a condition of hire and continued employment.” The policy, AnMed Health said, is intended to reduce the risk of spreading the flu virus in the hospital and will be implemented December 15, 2010. Some hospital workers are allowed to skip the flu shots if they have severe egg allergies or have had a bad reaction to flu vaccines in the past. Those workers must wear a surgical mask at work in order to remain employed.


Hunter, who works as a food service worker for the medical center’s Anderson, South Carolina location, claims she has never received a flu shot in her life, and she isn’t about to take one now. She also claims she should be given the option to wear a mask while on duty as an alternative to getting the shot, even though she doesn’t meet the conditions outlined in the new employment policy.


Hunter is citing “invasion of privacy” in the AnMed Health class action lawsuit, which was filed September 24 on behalf of all current employees who will be or are required to submit to mandatory influenza vaccinations as a condition of hire and/or continued employment at AnMed Health. An estimated 3,400 are eligible to join the AnMed flu shot class action, which is seeking a court order to permanently bar AnMed Health from enforcing and/or implementing the mandatory flu shot employment policy. If the mandatory policy isn’t banned before December 15 when the policy goes into effect, then the class action lawsuit will be amended to include damages and other relief.


A copy of the AnMed Health Mandatory Flu Shot Class Action Lawsuit can be read here.



Updated October 11th, 2010

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