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Verrill Dana, LLP

Verrill Dana, LLP is one of New England's preeminent regional law firms. With offices in Portland and Augusta, ME; Boston, MA; Westport, CT; Providence, RI; and Washington D.C. Verrill Dana provides sophisticated legal representation to businesses and individuals in the traditional areas of litigation, real estate, business law, labor and employment law, employee benefits, environmental law, intellectual property and estate planning.  The Firm also has industry-focused specialties including higher education, health care and health technology, energy, and timberlands. 

Disclaimer:  The content presented in this blog is for general information only, is not intended to constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon by any person as legal advice. While we welcome you to contact our blog authors at hrlawupdate@verrilldana.com, the submission of a comment or question does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and you. 

Entries in Undue Hardship (1)

Wednesday
Apr202016

Hospital Shows Undue Hardship in Permitting Employee who Refused Influenza Vaccination to Maintain Patient-Care Position

Earlier this month, a District of Massachusetts court issued an opinion which held in part that that a hospital’s refusal to permit an employee to maintain a patient-care position after refusing an influenza vaccination on account of religious beliefs was proper. The plaintiff in the matter was an administrative associate in the emergency department and was typically one of the first people to interact with patients and family members handling intake, registration, and affixing patient identification bracelets—thus requiring her to touch and be in close proximity to patients. The hospital notified employees that employees working in patient-care areas needed to be vaccinated for influenza. The plaintiff refused the vaccine, alleging that her “religion had a moratorium on all vaccinations.”

While the hospital did question whether the plaintiff had a sincerely held religious belief, the court did not focus on this argument and instead found that the hospital had attempted to reasonably accommodate the plaintiff by providing her with the opportunity to move to a non-patient-care position and that allowing her to maintain her position without the influenza vaccination would have been an undue hardship.

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