Bob Lian Speaks with BBC on Increasing Vaccine Mandates by U.S. Employers

Akin Gump labor and employment practice head Bob Lian spoke with BBC World Service to discuss the increase in U.S. companies that are requiring vaccination against the COVID-19 virus in the workplace.

According to Lian, vaccines are the most effective tool employers can use to ensure the safety of their employees, adding, “In the United States, there are occupational safety and health laws that require employers to provide a safe workplace, and employers have a basic duty to protect the people they come in contact with.”

On the topic of recent legal actions employees have taken against employers mandating vaccination, Lian says, “We’ve seen most of the cases that individuals have brought either be dismissed by the court or they’ve been withdrawn at this point. The challenge employees will face is that courts are going to be extremely skeptical of claims that challenges employer efforts to keep employees safe.”

Lastly, with regard to the involvement of the Biden/Harris administration on this issue, while Lian does not expect a federal mandate to be issued, he does expect the administration to be quite active, citing recent executive orders to require vaccination or regular testing for federal contractors and mandatory vaccinations for all military personnel.

To listen to the full interview, please click here. The vaccine segment begins around 13:30, with Lian’s comments starting around 14:20.

Recently, Lian and labor and employment partner Lauren Leyden sat down with epidemiologist Dr. Stephen Ostroff to discuss recent workplace updates related to coronavirus in the On Air with Akin Gump episode “COVID, Vaccine Mandates, and Boosters: A Workplace Update.” To listen to the episode, click here.