San Diego Law Review

Masking Your Rights: Facemask Requirements Under Mandatory Influenza-Vaccination Policies Violate Privacy Rights of Health Care Workers


Janet S. Kim


Faculty editor: Lawrence A. Alexander


Publication Law Review
Volume 53
Issue 2
Start Page 427
Year 2016
Type Comment
Subject Area


   Hospitals should abandon the facemask requirements in their mandatory influenza-vaccination programs because the facemasks can infringe on the privacy rights of health care workers, and hospitals can still achieve their vaccination goals through less restrictive practices. Part II introduces the recent rise of mandatory influenza-vaccination policies for health care workers, how hospitals exempt certain employees, and the consequences for those exempted. Part III discusses the legal implications of requiring exempted employees to wear facemasks and other identifying material under federal and state privacy law. Part IV recommends that health care employers abandon facemask requirements in their mandatory-vaccination programs in order to avoid privacy violations. Part V concludes.


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