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Preventing & Treating Communicable Conditions

LaBarbera v. NYU Winthrop Hospital

Overview

LaBarbera v. NYU Winthrop Hospital (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, March 16, 2021): The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York found that a pregnant employee fired for non-compliance with her hospital’s employee flu vaccination requirement did not have a claim under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) or the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL). While New York requires all unvaccinated healthcare workers to wear a surgical mask during the flu season near patients, the defendant hospital mandated the flu vaccine for all employees, subject to religious/medical exemptions. The policy did not consider pregnancy an acceptable medical contraindication, in line with CDC’s determination that “[p]regnant women may receive any licensed, recommended, age-appropriate influenza vaccine.” When the plaintiff’s request for a medical exemption based on her pregnancy was refused, she was fired lawfully under the PDA and NYSHRL because she failed to provide sufficient evidence that pregnant employees were treated differently under the policy. Read the decision here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – April 15, 2021.

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