3 Tips for Getting a Workforce Through Flu Season

Influenza viruses—better known as the flu—typically spread in the United States annually from late fall through early spring. Most persons who get the flu recover without long-term effects. However, influenza can cause serious illness, hospitalization, and death, particularly among older adults, very young children, pregnant women, and those with certain chronic medical conditions. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends routine annual flu vaccination for all persons aged six months and older who do not have contraindications. Getting the vaccination may be especially beneficial for those who work with the public in places such as the library.

Though it may be a good idea for almost everyone to get vaccinated, according to many lawyers, it is usually not a good idea for employers to make vaccinations mandatory. Doing so could bring unwanted law suits. This does not mean that employers must be complacent and do nothing about the possible spread of flu in their workplaces. Employers can take a proactive stance without making flu shots mandatory. This article offers employers three things they can do to mitigate the impact of this flu season on their workforce. The article also briefly mentions enforcement actions taken by both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the last few years related to mandatory workplace vaccination policies.

For more information on the flu, visit the CDC’s page on vaccine recommendations for the 2018-2019 flu season.