Court Sides With McPherson Hospital, Denies Unemployment Benefits to Employee Fired for Refusing Flu Vaccine

By Jolyn Johnston-Myers
May 04, 2016

The Kansas Court of Appeals has ruled that the McPherson Hospital was right in denying jobless benefits to a former employee who was fired for refusing to take a flu vaccine.

Debra Rhodenbaugh worked as a clerk in 2013 at the McPherson Hospital when a policy was adopted that required all employees to receive a flu vaccination. Rhodenbaugh objected to getting the vaccine and was fired two days later.

She then took the hospital to court after her unemployment benefits were stopped when the hospital appealed to the Kansas Employment Security Board of Review, saying that Rhodenbaugh wasn't eligible for unemployment benefits because the vaccination rule was fairly enforced.

Rhodenbaugh lost her case with the Shawnee County District Court. She then appealed to the Kansas Court of Appeals but recently lost there as well when they ruled to uphold the lower court's decision.

The complete history of the case and the Court of Appeals ruling of Debra K. Rhodenbaugh v. Kansas Employment Security Board of Review and McPherson Hospital can be found at