President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden (Andrew Harnik/AP/Shutterstock)

Corporate America Admits Mass Confusion Over New White House Vaccine Order

As part of the United States’ continuing efforts to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus, President Biden announced that he would be instructing all corporations with more than 100 employees to make sure their workforce was either vaccinated against the disease or regularly tested for it.

While the requirement is entirely within the President’s rights (and no different than rules like requiring meat and produce to be inspected by federal agencies before being sold in markets or requiring all Americans to wear seat belts while driving), many corporations and HR departments have expressed a fair amount of confusion over how exactly to implement the new law.

To that end, Matt Egan of CNN reported that the Consumer Brands Association, the trade group that represents many of the largest brands in America today, has sent a letter to the President with a “laundry list” of questions about how this new vaccine mandate should be enforced and put into effect. 

Consumer Brands Association CEO Geoff Freeman said the companies within his group needed “immediate clarity” on the administration’s new plan, which not only calls for all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their entire workforce is vaccinated or regularly tested for COVID-19 but also levies a $14,000 violation per infraction for companies that fail to comply.

In his letter, Freeman also said he hoped the federal government would “move quickly, anticipate challenges, [and] promptly answer questions” as all aspects of the policy were ironed out.

“The Consumer Brands Association and our member companies stand ready to partner with you in getting Americans vaccinated,” Freeman wrote.

According to CNN, questions Freeman and the Consumer Brands Association posed to the government in the letter include:

  • “What is considered documentation for proof of vaccination and how will booster shots factor into compliance?”
  • “Will the requirements only apply to vaccines that are fully approved by the FDA?”
  • “Does the government plan to centralize vaccination tracking?”
  • “What are the consequences of falsifying one’s vaccination status or test results?”
  • “What is considered suitable documentation for a negative test result?”
  • “Should employees choose not to vaccinate, is the company or employee responsible for securing and paying for testing?”
  • “When will the requirements be formally issued?”
  • “Do the new federal requirements include exemptions for religious beliefs and disabilities?”

“The questions underscore the uncertainty created by the Biden plan and hint at frustration in the business community over the federal government’s response throughout the pandemic,” Egan said.

 

Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.

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