I came to work this morning and everyone is buzzing about a rumor that the hospital is going to mandate flu vaccination for all employees this year. And not only that, but that if you opt out because of religious or allergic reasons, you must have a note from your doctor or pastor excusing you. And..if you don't take the shot for either reason you will be required to wear a mask for the duration of your shift until the end of flu season.
The only official release so far is an e-mail telling us that the hospital's goal this year is 100% compliance and that the first department to get 100% gets to have a popcorn party. (Probably butterless popcorn-they already took away our candy vending machines and replaced them with oat bars). We are supposed to look for communication from our managers for more information.
I don't know if a lot of the rumor is just hype and hysteria, or if something like this is really coming. This is the same organization that says with a straight face that the reason security is patrolling the parking lot is to keep nurses from smoking in their cars and bringing "third-hand" smoke into the hospital.
My question is this..is it legal to require a person who is displaying no signs or symptoms of the flu and who declined vaccination on religious grounds to wear a face covering for 6 months? Has anyone ever dealt with this? Seems like a person could claim a hostile work environment due to religious discrimination.
For those who might say "quit your job!", I can quit and work for any other hospital in this country and face the same problems. They are all the same because they are all drinking the same kool-aid.
For those who say everyone should be vaccinated so they don't spread the flu, if you are vaccinated, why do you care if I have been or not? Science says you can't get it, right?
So.....what do you think?
I wonder if a note from me as the Head Minister of the Church of Independent Thinking as well as a note from my doc stating that having my face covered for extended periods of time will cause anxiety attacks, skin rashes, and a grumpy disposition will get me out of this (so far) hypothetical situation!