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Vaccination forced upon U.S. nurses-union sues employer

2009-10-03 20:23:01 (GMT) ( - Health & Law, Justice News Flash)


16,000 strong nurses union in Washington files lawsuit against MultiCare Health System for mandatory flu vaccination policy.

Washington health lawyers-Washington State Nurses Association files lawsuit against two hospitals for mandating nurses receive flu vaccination.

Seattle, WA–The Washington State Nurses Association filed a lawsuit against Tacoma General Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital which operates under MultiCare Health System in response to the company’s implementation of a mandatory flu vaccination policy. As reported by KOMO News, MultiCare Health System is forcing nurse to receive the flu vaccine and wear face masks as a condition of employment. The new policy, which will be implemented hospital wide at both Washington facilities, outlines nurses who refuse to comply may be fired from their jobs.

The Washington State Nurses Association union is using the court system seeking an injunction to stop the implementation of the policy at both of the hospitals. Nurses support voluntary vaccination programs but union representatives cited a unilateral implementation policy completely ignores the hospital’s responsibility to bargain with the union. According to union representatives the hospitals have a legal obligation to bargain with the union. Apparently MultiCare’s proposed plan requires unvaccinated nurses to wear a surgical mask at all times while on duty at the hospital. There is no proof or current research showing masks prevent flu transmission. How does a mandatory policy which jeopardizes nurse staffing levels and nurse patient ratios in a country already suffering from a severe nursing shortage help the sick and injured receive quality care in the United States?

Washington health and law alerts by legal news reporter Heather L. Ryan.

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