Category Archives: Employment law

Influenza Mandates and Health Care Workers:

First Do No Harm: Protecting Patients Through Immunizing Health Care Workers.

Dorit Rubinstein Reiss

University of California Hastings College of the Law


Rene F. Najera

John Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health

To protect vulnerable patients, hospitals increasingly adopt policies requiring health care workers to be vaccinated against influenza. More than twenty states have also enacted statutes or regulations on the topic. A small minority of health care workers oppose the requirement, and several have appealed to our courts of justice.
This article examines the legal issues surrounding influenza mandates for health care workers, including the constitutional framework, federal employment discrimination statutes, and the effect of collective bargaining. It argues that requiring vaccination for health care workers is both ethical and appropriate. While better done via state statute, hospitals have the authority to require vaccination from their workers – and are not, arguably, required to exempt any workers that do not have medical barriers to vaccination.

Law and Vaccines: A Manual

This is the manual about law and vaccines prepared in collaboration between myself, Amanda Naprawa and Voices for Vaccines. It covers a range of issues.


Legal Topics: 

Vaccines: Regulating the Product

Protecting the Public Health: State and Federal Law

Disease Prevention: The CDC’s Role

Immunization Schedules

School Immunization Requirements

Religious Exemptions

Vaccines: Individual Choice and Community Welfare

Community vs. Individual: Achieving a Balance of Rights

Religion, Employment, and Rights

Parental Rights and the Child’s Right to Health

Informed Consent

Informed Refusal: The Risks of Not Vaccinating

Increasing Immunization Rates: The Role of the Law 


Government-Funded Incentives and Subsidies

Imposing Costs: Civil Lawsuits.

Imposing Costs: No-Fault Options

Limiting Unvaccinated Individuals’ Access

Vaccine Refusal and Criminal Law

Forced Vaccination

Other Issues: 

Vaccine Injuries: Compensating the Rare Adverse Event.

NVICP vs. the Courts

Are Vaccines “Unavoidably Unsafe?”

Influenza Vaccine Mandates and Health Care Workers: a Response

Responding to Attorney Alan Phillips’ claims claiming that there are many things unconstitutional or illegal in imposing such mandates.


This is the second in a two-part series: in the first part, Skeptical Raptor tackles Attorney Phillips’ science-based claims. Here, I address his legal claims.

Influenza Vaccines Mandates and Health Care Workers: Federal Labor Law

This post is the second post to examine a recent New Jersey case addressing the situation of a nurse, June Valent, who was dismissed after refusing to be vaccinated against influenza. Her hospital offered a religious and medical exemption, but she refused to make use of them, emphasizing her reasons were secular. The hospital dismissed her and refused to pay unemployment benefits for seven weeks. The court found in her favor.


This post focuses on the question whether a healthcare worker opposing influenza vaccine mandates can demand a medical exemption under the Americans with Disabilities Act or a religious exemption under Title VII to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, claiming discrimination.