Welcome to the State of California 
H1N1 Health Banner
 

This Web page is no longer being maintained or updated; it is provided for historical purposes only. For current information on seasonal influenza (flu), see the California Department of Public Health Influenza Web page.

 H1N1 Frequently Asked Questions

08.01 Can parents be forced to vaccinate their children?

No. Neither the seasonal flu vaccine nor the H1N1 flu vaccine is mandatory. However, children who are not vaccinated may be required to stay home from school if their school has an outbreak. This decision is usually made by the local health officer and the school district.

08.02 What if I (or a family member) is denied flu vaccine?

When supplies are limited, vaccine may be restricted to people in the priority groups. As vaccine becomes available from the manufacturers, it is very unlikely that anyone who wants to get vaccinated will be denied. If you believe you are at-risk for flu complications, we recommend that you contact your health care provider to find out when H1N1 vaccine will be available.

08.03 Does an employer have the right to tell sick employees to stay home or tell them to go home if they come to work sick? 

Refer these types of questions to:  http://www.osha.gov or http://www.dir.ca.gov for guidance.

08.04 Do small businesses have to close when an employee has been diagnosed with H1N1 flu and the employee stays home?

No, small businesses do not have to close when an employee has been diagnosed with H1N1 flu, but managers should pay attention and watch for illness in other employees. An employer can instruct an employee with H1N1 flu stay at home.

08.05 Can an employer require an employee to get tested if they suspect the employee has H1N1 flu?

Refer these types of questions to:  http://www.osha.gov or http://www.dir.ca.gov for guidance.

08.06 If a person has been exposed to someone with H1N1 flu, should they have to stay home from work even though they are not sick?

No.  If the person has no symptoms of influenza (fever [?100°F] plus sore throat, cough or runny nose), the person need not stay at home and away from other people.  At the first sign of any of those symptoms, the person should stay home. If the person gets a fever and other symptoms of flu, the person should stay home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever or signs of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.

CDC recommendations: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidance/exclusion.htm

08.07 Can an employer send an ill employee home? Is there a law?

Refer these types of questions to:  http://www.osha.gov or http://www.dir.ca.gov for guidance.

08.08 If an employee tests positive for H1N1 flu, are they obligated to tell their employer?  If they do, is the employer obligated to tell other employees?

If an employee is diagnosed with H1N1 flu and decides to stay home, the employee has no “legal” obligation to tell their employer about their specific diagnosis.  If the employee does tell their employer, the employer may investigate co-worker exposures, especially in high risk settings such as hospitals, but should NOT disclose the name of the sick employee. 

08.09 CDC is recommending that I stay home if I have the flu. Will CDC provide assistance if my employer will not pay me, or fires me for missed work time?

The CDC does not have oversight of employer leave or sick time policies. However, we recommend that you visit the CDC's website where you will find business guidance resources that can help you discuss your concerns about the spread of the H1N1 virus with your employer. Guidance for employers and employees can be found at http://www.osha.gov and http://www.dir.ca.gov.

08.10 Where can I send a letter of complaint?

You can mail a letter of complaint to:

H1N1 Grievances
Office of Public Affairs
California Department of Public Health
P.O Box 997377, MS 0502
Sacramento, CA 95899-73773

 

California Department of Public Health, Office of Public Affairs

Updated 12/07/09

 


 
 
Last modified on: 8/26/2011 12:49 PM