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Pregnant Woman Fired After Refusing To Get Flu Shot Sues NYU Winthrop Hospital

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A pregnant woman from Long Island who was fired after refusing to get a flu shot is filing a lawsuit.

Allison LaBarbera, of Long Beach, was fired from NYU Winthrop Hospital in December after her doctors advised the ultrasound technician not to get the flu shot.

The hospital requires all employees get the vaccine in order to protect vulnerable patients.

LaBarbera is now suing the hospital.

Her attorney Rick Ostrove said LaBarbera is not looking for money but a change in policy so this does not happen to any other woman.

"She thinks that this policy is unreasonable, it imposes an undue burden on pregnant women," Ostrove said. "It's not fair to force someone to either keep their job or inject themselves with something."

A hospital spokesperson in a statement said LaBarbera did not turn in the proper paperwork to be exempt from the policy.

She told WCBS 880's Sophia Hall earlier this month that she had turned in two doctors' notes.

"The two notes that I used said there wasn't sufficient research for zero side effects on pregnant women, which is true," she said. "I mean, it basically says that on the box and the CDC website: pregnant women should consult their health care practitioners. I did."

She applied for a medical/religious exemption request signed by her midwife and even offered to wear a mask and gown to protect patients.

The hospital says pregnancy alone is not a valid basis for exemption and points to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists recommendation that all pregnant women receive the vaccine — they're at increased risk of serious illness or death from the flu.

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