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OSHA: Mandatory vaccine policies allowed
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has not stepped into the fray over mandatory influenza vaccination. OSHA issued a "letter of interpretation" in response to a question about the mandates, saying that employers may mandate the vaccination as long as they don't retaliate against employees who have "a reasonable belief" that they would have a serious medical reaction to the vaccine. Here's what OSHA said:
"OSHA does expect facilities providing healthcare services to perform a risk assessment of their workplace and encourages healthcare employers to offer both the seasonal and H1N1 vaccines. It is important to note that employees need to be properly informed of the benefits of the vaccinations. However, although OSHA does not specifically require employees to take the vaccines, an employer may do so. In that case, an employee who refuses vaccination because of a reasonable belief that he or she has a medical condition that creates a real danger of serious illness or death (such as serious reaction to the vaccine) may be protected under Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 pertaining to whistle blower rights."