Oxnard, CA asked in Employment Law for California

Q: Im a security guard. my boss is tryin to make me get a shot at a hospital but i dont want the shot. ( TB Shot )

Im a security guard. We work at multiple different sites. Im at a hospital an I don't want a shot they require (TB Shot) if I tell my boss I'm not getting the shot I'm afraid that she wont send me to a different spot but instead either fire me or not give me any hours. ( even though theres different places to send me!) So is that harrasment or violating my rights? Maybe right to privacy or safety. Privacy for my body or saftey because I know the shots are not safe for my health. Or harassment for trying to make me get a shot that I don't want. It can be considered part of my spiritual/religious beliefs to not get the shot as well.

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1 Lawyer Answer

Eric Gene Young

Answered
  • Santa Rosa, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: California law requires that employees working in certain facilities be routinely tested for TB and to be free of the bacteria that causes TB, meaning the law can also require you to undergo a treatment regimen for TB if you test positive. Hospitals, schools, and community colleges are three such facilities that can require a TB shot and treatment as a condition of employment. TB is a serious, communicable disease that can kill people, particularly those who are already sick and in a hospital. If you work in a hospital, are not willing to be tested for TB or be treated, and you are infected with TB (which, incidentally, can infect a person and not show any symptoms for extended periods of time), you pose an immediate, unmitigated risk of harm to unsuspecting patients in that hospital. It is not harassment for your employer to require you to undergo testing or treatment for TB so long as you continue to work in a hospital. It's the law. Now, you might have an argument that your employer has an obligation to accommodate a sincerely held religious belief that prevents you from undergoing TB treatment. That accommodation might - and I emphasize might - include assigning you to other guard locations where TB testing or treatment may not be a job requirement. However, I am not convinced your employer has such an obligation. Quite frankly, as long as you continue to work in a hospital environment, your personal privacy, bodily autonomy, or religious beliefs are not going to overcome the unsuspecting public's right to be protected from a life-threatening, communicable disease like TB - and with all respect, they should not. It's a public safety issue.

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