May an employer require employees to be vaccinated?

Author: Julie H. Cox

No. Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) highly recommends that employees receive vaccinations to provide a safe workplace, there are no laws in place that force an employee to get vaccinated. Health care workers are watched more closely because of their risk of spreading flu to patients. The National Vaccines Advisory Council panel is considering making it mandatory for health care workers to receive vaccinations in situations where all efforts have been made by the employer to get employees to be vaccinated, but the workplace still fails to have 90 percent compliance. However, this has not been done yet, and at this moment all an employer may do, in any industry, is suggest a vaccination without forcing it. The employer can and should, though, provide vaccinations on site to better prevent illnesses.