White House to meet U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable ahead of vaccine mandate release

The White House is meeting with influential industry trade groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable as the administration races to issue a rule to implement President Joe Biden's plan to require private-sector workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The Office of Management & Budget (OMB) has set up these virtual meetings, with some scheduled for Friday and Monday, that will also include the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the National Association of Manufacturers among others, according to public filings.


Reuters | Updated: 15-10-2021 20:48 IST | Created: 15-10-2021 20:48 IST
White House to meet U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable ahead of vaccine mandate release

The White House is meeting with influential industry trade groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable as the administration races to issue a rule to implement President Joe Biden's plan to require private-sector workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Office of Management & Budget (OMB) has set up these virtual meetings, with some scheduled for Friday and Monday, that will also include the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the National Association of Manufacturers among others, according to public filings. Other powerful groups such as the HR Policy Association, a forum for the largest U.S. employers, discussed the mandate with OMB officials on Thursday and emphasized that businesses want to be a partner to boost vaccination rates, according to Roger King, the group's senior labor and employment counsel.

The group did express concerns that employers need clear rules on a variety of issues, including COVID-19 testing alternatives to vaccination, record-keeping and confidentiality. King said the HR Policy Association also pressed the administration to be flexible given concerns that mandating vaccines could worsen labor shortages in some industries.

"It appears to be moving forward with warp speed," King said. Biden on Thursday said the mandate ruling can be expected "soon." The U.S. Labor Department on Tuesday submitted https://reut.rs/3FSOqzN to the White House the initial text of the ruling.

The mandate will apply to businesses with 100 or more employees and will be implemented under a federal rule-making mechanism known as an emergency temporary standard. It would affect roughly 80 million workers nationwide. Along with Biden's order last month that requires all federal workers and contractors to be vaccinated, the orders cover 100 million people, or about two-thirds of the U.S. workforce.

Biden's mandate announcement in September came at a breaking-point as the country was facing a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths driven by the fast-spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus due to a large swath of the population refusing free vaccinations. The coronavirus has killed more than 700,000 Americans.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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