On June 5, 2018, the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a District Court’s decision to dismiss a case filed by a nurse who alleged she was terminated for refusing a Tdap vaccine for medical reasons. The focus of the decision was not the vaccine refusal per se; the focus was what are the pleading standards in a claim alleging a failure to provide a reasonable accommodation of a disability. While the specific claim of the nurse’s vaccine refusal is unconvincing in many ways, I think the Third Circuit (“the court”) was right to allow her case to proceed at least a bit further.
For the purpose of the discussion of any motion to dismiss, the assumption is that the plaintiff’s factual allegations about her vaccine refusal choices are true. Therefore, what I am describing as “the facts” is the nurse’s version. Fact-finding may show that not all these allegations are provable. Continue reading “Vaccine refusal by a healthcare worker – is it a disability?”