Influenza vaccine exemptions for employee, Oklahoma

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Influenza vaccine exemptions for employee, Oklahoma

I am having a hard time trying to find out if an employer can make you get the influenza vaccine and, if they can, then what exemptions can you use, Also, if someone wants to use the religious exemption but is not currently attending a church, yet they truly have strong beliefs, do they still have to find a church to sign an exemption letter? This is a hospital but I only works in an office across from the actual hospital building itself.

Asked on November 28, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) Yes, an employer can require the flu shot, like it can require the use of protective clothing, or ban employees who are obviously sick from work. Employers have considerable discretion when it comes to setting policies designed to protect worker (and customer, patient, etc.) health, and given that you work at a hospital, where there are many people who have compromised immune systems and who need to be protected from exposure to the flu, their right to demand the flu shot is clear and unequivocal.
2) The religious exemption requires not just strong feelings or beliefs on your part, but that the shot be actively against the tenants or principals of a religion you demonstrably and actively adhere to, such as if you are an active member (e.g. regular churchgoer) of the Jehovah's Witnesses or Christian Science. If you can't demonstrate that, the religious exemption is not available to you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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