Can I be fired for refusing to give a birth control shot to a 12 year old girl?

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Can I be fired for refusing to give a birth control shot to a 12 year old girl?

I am Catholic and work in a clinic as an advise nurse. They now want me to give out a depoprovara shot, which is a birth control drug. I refused to give it and found another nurse who would do it. Now I might be let go for taking a stand for religious reasons. What can I do?

Asked on May 3, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, an employee cannot be discriminated against based upon religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and the like.

However, if giving injections is part of your duties as an employee and you cannot give the needed injections to a patient, your employer under the circumstances you have written about could terminate you for refusing to inject the 12 year old girl with a birth control shot. The issue is you placing your religious beliefs with respect to what is inside the syringe and not your own personal beliefs about birth control. Meaning, if you cannot give injections at work, your job may be at risk.

I suggest that you consult with your employer about your religious beliefs to see what accomodations could possibly be made for you at the work place in the event you are not terminated and face a similar situation in the future that you have written about.


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