The Consumer Brands Association, a trade group representing dozens of major companies, urged the Biden administration on Monday to immediately provide clarification on how to implement a sweeping private sector vaccine mandate.
The letter to President Biden included a list of more than 50 questions from its member companies regarding requirements for vaccination, testing and other operational concerns. The group’s members include Coca-Cola, General Mills, The Honest Company and PepsiCo.
"Federal agencies must move quickly, anticipate challenges, promptly answer questions and partner with the private sector if we are to realize successful implementation of the administration’s COVID-19 Action Plan and achieve our shared goal of increased vaccination rates," Consumer Brands president and CEO Geoff Freeman said in a statement.
Last week, Biden said the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would enforce a rule requiring companies with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccinations or conduct weekly COVID-19 testing. The rule is expected to apply to approximately 80 million Americans.
Companies that violate the rule face fines of $14,000 per infraction.
The Consumer Brand Association cited concern among its members that past federal guidance on pandemic policy came "weeks or months" after announcements, leaving businesses unsure of how to proceed.
The group pressed the White House to clarify what would be considered proper documentation for proof of vaccination, whether employees had to be fully vaccinated in order to work, and if businesses could be held accountable for an individual’s falsified records, among various other concerns.
"The Consumer Brands Association and our member companies stand ready to partner with you in getting Americans vaccinated. Strong, consistent collaboration between the private and public sector on implementation will accelerate progress on our shared goal," the letter said.
Biden’s private sector mandate drew a mixed response from business groups, with some, including the National Association of Manufacturers, asserting that any actions not hurt company operations.