Big Companies Ask For Clarity On Joe Biden’s Request

( President Joe Biden recently issued a broad series of orders regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, and there are many businesses that are up in arms about it.

Recently, groups that represent the packaged goods industry — a $2 trillion sector of the economy — sent a letter to the White House with various questions that its members have regarding the new order.

The Consumer Brands Association, which sent the letter, represents some giants in the consumer goods sector, such as General Mills, Kellogg and Coca-Cola.

On Monday, the association sent the White House the letter that demanded “immediate clarity” on all details of Biden’s order. One of the main parts of that order requires all companies that have at least 100 employees either mandate their employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing.

In the letter sent to Biden, Geoff Freeman, the CEO of the Consumer Brands Association, said the Biden administration and all federal agencies that are relevant to the matter need to “move quickly, anticipate challenges, promptly answer questions and partner with the private sector … [to] achieve our shared goal of increased vaccination rates.

“Strong, consistent collaboration between the private and public sector on implementation will accelerate progress on our shared goal.”

The letter lists a large section of specific questions that members of the Consumer Brands Association have about Biden’s new order. In total, there are 19 questions. Some of them include:

Must an employee be fully vaccinated in order to work?

Will the requirements only apply to vaccines that are fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration?

Does the government have plans to centralize vaccination tracking, or is it the responsibility of businesses to manage?

If an employee takes a COVID-19 test but the results are not yet available, can the employee continue to work pending the results?

How does this mandate impact locations with collective bargaining agreements?

Will this federal requirement preempt existing state-imposed obligations?

These are just a few of the questions that these major companies have about Biden’s new COVID-19 mandates.

Last week, the White House unveiled Biden’s COVID-19 Action Plan. Part of the plan includes the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the Labor Department working on an emergency rule that would require all companies that have at least 100 employees to either mandate a COVID-19 vaccine or have a regimen of weekly COVID-19 testing.

Companies that violate the new rule could face a financial penalty of $14,000 for every violation.

Following the release of the details of the new rule, Freeman said in a statement that government guidance in the past has seemed to lag a few months behind announcements. In the statement, he said:

“As with other mandates, the devil is in the details. Without additional clarification for the business community, employee anxieties and questions will multiply.”

It’s now up to the federal government to clarify what is a complicated, and controversial, new rule.