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Declination of Employer Recommended or Required Influenza (flu) Vaccination

November 18, 2022 10638

Instructions for employers

Employers may choose to recommend or require employees to obtain the flu vaccine. Customize the blue areas of the template below according to your practice policy and provide it to those employees who decline to be vaccinated. A copy of the signed acknowledgement and accompanying documentation should be kept in the employee’s confidential personnel record.

Considerations for employers who require employees to obtain a flu vaccine

Employers in healthcare settings have the right to establish legitimate health and safety standards, policies, and requirements so long as they are job-related and consistent with business necessity.

Policies mandating vaccinations are more likely to be appropriate for employers in the healthcare industry.

Even if an employer’s vaccination policy is mandated to meet county requirements or qualifies as a legitimate health and safety requirement for the business, under certain circumstances, some employees may nonetheless be exempt from complying.

An employee may be exempt from compliance with a mandatory vaccination policy if they have a qualifying disability under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) in California which prevents them from safely receiving the vaccine.

Upon receiving a request to be excluded from a vaccination requirement as an accommodation, whether due to disability or religious-related reasons, an employer must engage in an interactive process with the objecting employee to determine if it can provide the employee with a reasonable accommodation that does not pose an undue hardship for the employer.

When an employer receives a request from an employee to be exempt from the employer’s mandatory vaccination requirement for a disability-related reason, an employer may require verification that the individual has an actual disability, and can require the employee to provide disability-related documentation that substantiates the employee’s need for an accommodation as a result of that disability.

Employers who provide an employee a reasonable accommodation are encouraged to check with their local county ordinances for requirements, such as, specific identification requirements of non-vaccinated employees, for example, “colored tags or nametag stickers”.

Employers who have further questions or concerns about an employee’s refusal for a mandatory vaccination should seek advice from CDA Practice Support or an employment law attorney.

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