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.
Heather L. Ryan, R.N., C.L.N.C- Heather Ryan is a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant with 15 years of experience in the health care industry. Her expertise in reviewing medical records and assisting lawyers with the determination as to whether legal action should be taken provides an invaluable asset to the newsroom. Medical-malpractice, products liability, personal injury and workers’ compensation are some of the recent areas of litigation Ms. Ryan has focused her efforts on. A member of the Florida Justice Association, Heather maintains a long list of certifications and credentials to support her areas of expertise and stays up-to-date with her clinical knowledge working as an emergency room/trauma nurse, at a Level 1, Adult/Pediatric trauma and teaching institution in South Florida.