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H1N1 Flu Vaccine Reported to Give Nannies an Employment Advantage

January 4, 2010

In recent Los Angeles, California employment law news, our attorneys at Howard Law, PC have been following the Los Angeles Times report that nannies who get flu shots may have an advantage in the job market.

According to the article, for many parents, reaching an agreement about the topic of administering flu vaccines for nannies and child-care givers has proved to be difficult, and often impossible.

For many parents with new babies who are too young to be vaccinated, there is great interest in hiring childcare providers who have either received the vaccine, or who are willing receive it--as babies younger than 6 months are considered to be most at risk for serious complications with the swine flu. But many care-givers are fearful and not willing to take the vaccine--with worries that the vaccine might make them sick, cause irreversible side effects, or make them incapable of working.

January is reported to be a peak month for hiring nannies, as new mothers are going back to work after the holidays. Some nannies are using the vaccination to get an advantage in the job market, but many are still refusing the H1N1 vaccination, because of worries of side effects, cost, or because they are unable to get access to the vaccine. Even with parents willing to pay for the vaccination, many nannies are still not interested in taking the H1N1 flu precaution. California legal experts have been reportedly receiving calls from worried parents and agencies who are dealing with hesitant and reluctant nannies.

Los Angeles County and California health officials do not regulate whether baby-sitters, caregivers or nannies receive the vaccination for H1N1 flu virus, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that nannies who are caring for babies younger than 6 months of age should receive the vaccine.

According to federal antidiscrimination law, it is a violation for day-care agencies to screen or discriminate against nannies on the basis of vaccinations or medical histories. The Los Angeles Times reports that parents, however, have the legal right to screen or fire nannies for refusing to get the vaccination.

Nannies Who Get Flu Shots May Have an Edge in the Job Market, Los Angeles Times, January 3, 2009

Related Web Resources:

CDC: (Swine Flu): Resources for Parents and Caregivers

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (EEOC)