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Daycare Worker Immunization Law in California

Adult getting a VaccineA recently-enacted law in California requires daycare workers to get vaccinations for measles, whooping cough, and the flu. The bill was signed into law in the fall of 2015, nearly a year after the measles outbreak at Disneyland that infected more than 150 people of all ages. Senator Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, the author of the bill, stated that he wrote the measure to save lives and protect children from infection by communicable diseases.

Daycare Workers

Under the updated law, anyone who works or volunteers at a daycare center or family daycare home must be vaccinated. The daycare center must keep records of employees’ and volunteers’ immunizations or, if applicable, exemptions from the law.

Workers and volunteers may be exempted from the immunization requirement if they provide a doctor’s note stating a medical reason why vaccination is not safe, such as an allergy to any ingredient in the vaccine, immune system problems, chemotherapy, or pregnancy. They may also substitute a doctor’s note stating that they currently have immunity. Workers may decline the flu shot if they submit a written declaration that they have declined immunization.

Workers and volunteers may be conditionally employed at a daycare for up to 30 days if they need more time to obtain immunization records. They must, however, sign a document stating that they have obtained the required vaccinations.

Children at Daycare

Currently, children attending daycare in California are required to be immunized. Until the law took effect, adults working in daycare centers were not, and there has been a recent rise in the number of adults without immunizations.

California recently passed a stringent immunization law for children attending daycares and schools, getting rid of most of the exemptions to the vaccination requirement. Notably, California no longer recognizes an exemption for religion or personal beliefs. Starting with the 2016-2017 school year, students must be vaccinated or must have a medical reason that makes immunization unsafe. Parents of students who object to vaccination may send their children to private home-based schools or enroll in independent study courses.

Personal Injury Consequences

If a person or business fails to follow the new law requiring daycare workers to be immunized, there could be legal consequences. If an unvaccinated daycare worker infects a child, it may open up the worker or the daycare to a personal injury lawsuit.

Should a daycare worker mislead an employer as to his or her vaccination status, then the individual worker would likely be liable for damages, including compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering. But if the daycare negligently allowed the unvaccinated employee or volunteer to work at the daycare and failed to verify the worker’s immunization status, the business could also be liable.

If your child has been injured or contracted a serious illness while at daycare or in school, you may have the basis for a personal injury suit. Contact an experienced Monterey County personal injury attorney to discuss your case. Call (408) 298-7200 for a free initial consultation at Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. today.

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