ARLINGTON, VA – Today, FMI Chief Public Policy Officer & Senior Vice President Jennifer Hatcher issued the following statement on the Biden administration’s announcement mandating that employers with more than 100 employees require their workers to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo regular testing.

“Since COVID-19 vaccines became available to the public, FMI and our members have been committed to encouraging food industry employees to receive the vaccine, but also respected their right to make choices about their own individual health needs and those of their families.

“The announcement yesterday by President Biden of an employer mandate on vaccinations and testing for employees, including fines and penalties for businesses that fail to comply, raises a tremendous number of questions including when the rules will be released; how long businesses have to get their full workforces vaccinated before fines are levied; availability of COVID-19 tests; and whether pharmacies that accept Medicare or Medicaid are covered under the requirement for federally funded health care settings, to name a few. We continue to review the outline the Biden administration announced and are collecting a list of critical questions that must be answered in order to even understand how to comply with this mandate within the framework of existing laws and regulations including privacy, employment discrimination and leave requirements. There are simply more questions than answers at this point.

“More than 10,000 of our member companies are providing vaccines in their supermarket pharmacies, making them a safe, convenient location for vaccinations for all Americans. Recent FMI research shows 70% of consumers are very likely or definitely would receive COVID-19 vaccines at their supermarket pharmacy, and our industry stands ready to meet this public health need.”