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Nurse Fired For Declining Flu Shot Wins Suit Against Hospital

June Valent was denied her first amendment right, according to appellate court panel.

A former Hackettstown Regional Medical Center nurse was wrongfully denied unemployment benefits when she refused to take a flu shot in 2010 and did not cite religious reasons for doing so, an appellate court ruled.

According to lehighvalleylive.com, June Valent refused to receive a flu vaccination while working at the hospital, but agreed to wear a mask, per hospital policy. The hospital had created a mandate that employees receive the shot, unless they could state religious or medical reasons not to, the report said.

Valent stated neither, but refused the shot, and was subsequently terminated, the report said. An unemployment benefits review board denied her access to benefits because of her termination.

The appellate court opinion stated the hospital violated Valent’s right to freedom of expression by denying her a secular choice in the matter.

Read more here.

Jersey June 10, 2014 at 11:52 AM
What if it wasn't flu, but say, TB? A patient with a critical lung condition has to worry about TB when they go to the hospital? What about pertussis or measles? I have to worry that my kids may be exposed to horrible diseases that may kill them when I bring them to the hospital? No. Not right. If you are anti-vax, fine. But don't work in healthcare. There is too much exposure and risk to others. I know a family whose newborn died of flu, contracted in the hospital. It is no joke for infants or the elderly despite the fact that most of us are strong enough not be be seriously threatened by it. P.S. If medical decisions now constitute freedom of expression under the 1st Amendment, hope everyone is OK with abortion and euthanasia being 1st amendment rights. (Probably the only good thing I'd see in this mess. lol) Not a good outcome.

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