NACS Expresses Concerns Over Oregon Rule Requiring Retailers to Police Mask Enforcement

5/26/2021

ALEXANDRIA, Va.— NACS has sent a letter to U.S. public health agencies asking them to issue statements “emphasizing that state and local rules should not place the burden of verifying vaccination on employees.”

The letter to the heads of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention follows an Oregon Health Department rule that requires private businesses, employers and places of worship to verify the vaccination status of people who don’t wear face masks in their facilities.

The new Oregon policy requires “local businesses to verify the vaccination status of customers,” a policy that “is alarming,” the letter states. “As with mask mandates, requiring employees to confront customers in this way is calculated to lead to anger and violence. Many people feel strongly about their decisions regarding whether or not to get vaccinated. It simply is not the job of employees trying to serve Americans to challenge those beliefs—and that is undoubtedly how many individuals will take questions about vaccination status.

“The businesses across the country that we represent care about the safety and well-being of their employees. … Policies like Oregon’s will risk the safety and well-being of employees,” the letter states.

“We strongly urge the Centers for Disease Control, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and Department of Health and Human Services to recognize the peril that these types of policies will create for employees and make public statements emphasizing that state and local rules should not place the burden of verifying vaccination on employees,” the letter states.

Joining NACS in the letter are the Asian American Hotel Owners Association; American Hotel & Lodging Association; Energy Marketers of America; FMI, The Food Industry; Association International Franchise Association; National Grocers Association; and the National Retail Federation.

 
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