Superficially, it doesn\u2019t seem like an unreasonable request. Convene a legislative public hearing to hear those who believe they are being wronged by employers adhering to COVID-19 vaccination requirements. What could possibly be wrong with hearing views of constituents as requested by a handful of state legislators? Unfortunately, such a hearing gives credibility to the views of an unreasoning anti-vax minority. It gives a public forum to fear mongers. As well, it implies that anti-COVID health and safety restrictions \u2014 or virtually any workplace health and safety regulation \u2014 could be disregarded. Ah, but \u201cThis is a group of people who \u2026 feel that they have nowhere else to turn,\u201d says one of the legislators who sought the hearing. \u201cSimply listening is the first requirement for anyone who signs up to serve in the General Assembly, and it\u2019s a responsibility my colleagues and I take seriously.\u201d Be that as it may, listening is probably all they can do since they don\u2019t have a legal leg to stand on. As an attorney focused on labor law, I say without reservation that the government has every right to impose health and safety regulations on employers, and the public at large, which are designed to protect public health. Ever since Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 1970, it has been the goal of the U.S. Department of Labor to ensure safe and healthful working conditions by setting and enforcing workplace standards that are designed to carry out its workplace health protective mandate \u2014 standards that are not optional. It is worth noting that government vaccine mandates have been established since 1905 when the U.S. Supreme Court held that Cambridge, Mass., could require all adults to be vaccinated against smallpox. As well, school districts everywhere require school-aged children to be vaccinated against measles, rubella and polio. It is for the public\u2019s benefit. Unless a union or other employment contract otherwise specifies, private businesses can require employees to be vaccinated as a condition of employment just so long as they allow exemptions for medical reasons and seriously held religious beliefs. This rule is in line with ordinary workplace regulations. An employer can require all workers to wear steel-toed work shoes in accordance with labor regulations to protect its people from things dropping on their toes. If a worker refuses, that worker can be fired. The same is true if a company requires workers to wear eye protection to protect them from eye injury. If a worker refuses, that worker can be fired. Eye protection or steel-toed shoes or a COVID vaccine can be a condition of employment. Thus, if a company requires its workers to accept a government-approved COVID-19 vaccine to ensure the public health and safety of everyone in that workplace, and workers refuse, they can be fired. This is settled law, not a speculative theory. People can complain all they want, but the law is there to protect the workforce majority as well as the public that they may come into contact with while performing their jobs. A public hearing isn\u2019t going to change the science or the law. Comply or face the consequences. It is a rule that exists for everyone\u2019s benefit. Robert B. Mitchell is a partner in the Stratford-based law firm Mitchell and Sheahan PC. He represents employers and employees in employment law cases and management in union-related labor law issues. He can be reached at 203-873-0240.