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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Charge nurse Robin McRae said she was told to leave Ashton Place Health and Rehab because she had not taken her flu shot and could not return unless she had the vaccination.
McRae said when she was hired in May 2011 influenza vaccines were not mandatory of staff and those who opted out were allowed to wear face masks during the season. In September 2012, McRae said Ashton Place changed their employee handbook stating that flu shots are now a requirement. After her refusal, McRae said she was denied her paycheck for four days then asked to leave Monday afternoon. “The human resource person came to me and said we’re going to have to ask you to leave because you didn’t take the flu shot,” McRae said. McRae said she has always believed in herbal treatments and Ashton Place was infringing on her own personal rights.
Guilford County Department of Public Health Director Dr. Edward Robinson said everyone is encouraged to take the flu vaccine but everyone in public health must for the safety of their patients.
“Those who have taken the oath to help and provide for others need to set an example and one of those is basically to get the flu vaccine every year,” Robinson said. ”Unless you mandate it, you people opt out and when you opt out the folks they serve are not protected.” Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and Moses Cone Hospital requires all their employees to take flu vaccinations. Ashton Place Director Kirk Rogers declined an interview but sent this statement about the complaint.
“Ashton Place Health and Rehab holds the health, safety and well being of our residents and employees in the highest regard. Our immunization practice reflects a standard adopted by North Carolina’s leading health care organizations including the University of North Carolina Health Systems and Cone Health System. It is also our practice not to discuss confidential personnel policies publicly.” McRae plans to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
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