As news of promising progress on coronavirus vaccines has filled the headlines in recent weeks, labor lawyers say employers have been pressing one question in particular: Once approved, can they require employees to take it?
“Until maybe about a month ago, we hadn’t had many clients asking about it,” said Brett Coburn, a labor and employment partner with Alston & Bird. “We’re starting to see a lot more momentum.”
The news that a coronavirus vaccine could start being distributed within the next few weeks has sent stocks soaring and government officials scrambling to develop plans for the herculean task of distributing it across the country.
For employers, many of which have kept workers home for months, it has opened a complex set of legal and practical issues: Can they require employees to take a vaccine? Should they offer incentives instead to encourage compliance? And what should they do if employees