People in line for vaccines

As the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration works to develop and issue a rule for a vaccine and testing mandate announced earlier this month by President Biden, some business groups are expressing frustration that they have not been included in the process.

“It is disappointing that OSHA is unwilling to meet with industry experts so the agency can fully understand the great strides senior living communities have taken to protect their residents, staff and visitors,” an Argentum spokesperson told the McKnight’s Business Daily

Groups advocating on behalf of the various parts of the business community have presented the administration with lengthy lists of questions about implementing the rule but have not received a response, The Hill reported.

Meanwhile, two-thirds of America’s business leaders participating in a poll by the Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board said they support the Biden administration’s forthcoming vaccine mandate for private businesses employing 100 or more workers.

More than half of those same business leaders said they are concerned, however, about their ability to implement the mandate at their companies.

“While our survey results reveal that the president has significant backing from the business community, the administration should proceed with caution given the intensity of the opposition felt by a quarter of the business leaders and the expected difficulties in implementation felt much more broadly,” CED President Lori Esposito Murray, Ph.D., said. “Unless the OSHA vaccine guidelines put in place are clear and actually achieve the objective, the end result may be more division in the workplace instead of more vaccinations.”

A LeadingAge spokesperson noted that some of the association’s members will be affected by the forthcoming OSHA mandate due to the size of their organizations, whereas others will be required to mandate vaccination or testing of their employees because of their status as recipients of Medicare or Medicaid funding.

“We are working with our members to guide them on interpretation,” a LeadingAge spokesperson told the McKnight’s Business Daily. “Because of the variety of our member provider types, some will be following guidance from [the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services], while others will be following what OSHA provides.”