Policies & Issues

Vaccine Mandate Raises Questions for Retailers

Policies & IssuesSep 28, 2021

Vaccine Mandate Raises Questions for Retailers

NRF and RILA say their members need more information and will need more time before requiring employees to get vaccinated.

The National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association sent a joint letter to the U.S. Department of Labor and its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), raising questions and expressing concerns about an impending vaccine or testing mandate for companies with 100 or more employees.
New York—Retailers need more time and more information to implement new rules about employees being vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a letter by two large retail trade organizations.

The National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association sent a joint letter to the U.S. Department of Labor and its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) asking for 90 days to prepare to meet the requirement.

The letter is seemingly a pre-emptory measure, as OSHA has not yet released a draft of the regulations or given a timeline for when the mandate would take effect.

President Joe Biden reached out to OSHA earlier this month, directing the government agency to implement an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that requires companies with 100 or more employees to either have their workers fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or require weekly testing.

OSHA can issue an ETS if it is deemed necessary to protect workers from grave danger.

In June, OSHA issued an ETS requiring health care employers to implement COVID-related health measures, including providing personal protective equipment and adequate ventilation, and allowing for social distancing.

Under this new standard, those working for healthcare providers, federal employees, and employees of federal contractors will be required to get the vaccine.

The standard would also require paid time off for employees to get the vaccine. 

 Related stories will be right here … 

Several major companies already have vaccination requirements in place, including The Walt Disney Company, Goldman Sachs, Google, Netflix, Tyson Foods, The Fox Corporation, and United Airlines.

In their letter, NRF and RILA noted that retailers have put various health and safety checks in place throughout the pandemic and have been “at the forefront of the vaccination effort,” with many providing financial incentives and paid time off to allow retail employees to get the vaccine.

“As we have navigated federal and state requirements, recommendations, and protocols, we have learned that it takes time to implement successful testing and vaccination programs—particularly in the face of challenges related to availability, access, and verification,” said the letter.

The letter also shared a list of questions from the groups’ members, including queries on how to verify vaccination status and what to do if an employee refuses both options.

Some of the questions include: 

  • How should employers handle religious and health exemptions?
  • As the holiday season approaches, does the mandate apply to seasonal employees? 
  • Would it apply to an independent contractor or remote worker?
  • Would the mandate affect teenage retail workers? Those workers may need parental consent for vaccination and testing, the letter noted.
Looking at the retail workforce, there may be as many as 4 million employees who would need weekly testing, stated the letter. 

This begs the question about the availability of adequate testing: If testing is not available in a certain area, would the employer be fined? Would the employee be unable to work that week?

It’s also unclear whether the employee or employer would pay for the testing, should there be a charge, said the letter. Should the employee pay the testing fee to incentivize vaccinations?

Delta Air Lines announced last month that it will require employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or be tested weekly and incur a $200 monthly surcharge for health insurance.

With booster shots now available for select individuals, the members also asked how OSHA will define “vaccinated.”

If an employee receives one dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine and is waiting to receive the second dose, do they still require weekly testing?

“Requiring employers to mandate vaccination and testing of all employees will require extensive coordination with employers and all levels of government,” the letter stated.

Read the full letter here.
Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

The Latest

MajorsNov 29, 2022
LVMH Acquires Jewelry Manufacturer Pedemonte Group

The strategic acquisition will bolster the luxury titan’s production capacity in its watch and jewelry division.

CollectionsNov 29, 2022
Alex and Ani Founder Carolyn Rafaelian Has Launched a Fine Jewelry Line

The new brand, Metal Alchemist, focuses on unisex, classic jewelry designs.

IndependentsNov 29, 2022
Reinhold Jewelers’ Holiday Book Is an Ode to an Important Beverage

The 2022 edition of the retailer’s annual publication pays homage to the coffee farms and shops of Puerto Rico.

Brought to you by
Knowledge and Skills for Today’s Hot Topics

From laboratory-grown diamonds to design to country-of-origin, GIA's Alumni Collective™ has a seminar to suite your needs.

CollectionsNov 29, 2022
Gabriel & Co.’s ‘Fashion Book’ Is Out

Not a catalog, the magazine is a tool for Gabriel & Co. retailers to connect with their customers.

Weekly QuizNov 18, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
MajorsNov 29, 2022
Claire’s to Open Shop-in-Shops in Select U.S. Macy’s Stores

The partnership brings Claire’s jewelry and accessories to 20 Macy’s locations in time for the holiday season.

MajorsNov 28, 2022
Pomellato’s New Videos Raise Awareness of Violence Against Women

Starring CEO Sabina Belli and other celebrities, the videos emphasize the importance of supporting women who have experienced abuse.

Brought to you by
Diamond Shoppers’ 2022 Holiday Wish List

Give your customers the best diamond buying experience this holiday season.

IndependentsNov 28, 2022
Bert Kalisher, an Industry Veteran Who Loved Making Connections, Dies at 97

Kalisher started out manufacturing watch bands and later got into publishing, authoring two books and serving as publisher of Chronos.

Events & AwardsNov 28, 2022
Registration Is Open for AGA’s Annual Tucson Conference

Scheduled for Feb. 1, the event will feature six gemological education presentations and three hands-on sessions.

MajorsNov 28, 2022
The Kingswood Co. Is One of U.S.’s Fastest-Growing Companies Again

The jewelry cleaner manufacturer jumped up to No. 3066 on the Inc. 5000 list.

AuctionsNov 23, 2022
This Sapphire Tiara Once Owned by a Danish Princess Is Going to Auction

The Dec. 1 jewelry sale at Bonhams-owned Bruun Rasmussen will have several other pieces of royal jewelry on the block.

FinancialsNov 23, 2022
Movado Lowers Guidance Amid ‘Uncertain’ Retail Environment

Its Q3 sales dipped as inflation took its toll on shoppers in the U.S. and Europe.

MajorsNov 23, 2022
De Beers Jewellers Is Popping Up in Connecticut

The temporary store is the result of a collaboration with Betteridge.

CollectionsNov 23, 2022
Piece of the Week: Rembrandt’s Turkey Charm

Charm fans will gobble up this festive “Piece of the Week” pick.

AuctionsNov 22, 2022
Jewelry Recovered from Sunken ‘Ship of Gold’ Heads to Auction

The S.S. Central America sank in 1857 off the coast of South Carolina, carrying tons of gold from the California Gold Rush.

IndependentsNov 22, 2022
See the Greek Jewels Going to Auction for Charity

Several Greek jewelry designers have donated pieces to the annual Hellenic Initiative silent auction.

Events & AwardsNov 22, 2022
Hodinkee to Receive Gem Award for Watch Excellence

Plus, see this year’s list of nominees for the Jewelry Design, Media Excellence, and Retail Excellence awards.

SourcingNov 22, 2022
Head of Australian Miner Burgundy Diamond Resigns

The company announced the resignation of Peter Ravenscroft late last week, effective immediately.

SourcingNov 21, 2022
Provenance Proof Launches Online Marketplace for Traceable Gems

Debuting today, it is open to Provenance Proof blockchain users.

TechnologyNov 21, 2022
Version 2.0 of the NDC’s ‘Assure’ Directory Is Now Live

Assure is the program the Natural Diamond Council launched in 2019 to test lab-grown diamond screening devices.

MajorsNov 21, 2022
JK Findings Acquires Intercept Silver & Jewelry Care

Intercept Silver & Jewelry Care distributes anti-corrosion and anti-tarnish products.

MajorsNov 21, 2022
David Yurman Just Opened a Palm Beach Outpost

It’s located on famed shopping street Worth Avenue.

EditorsNov 18, 2022
9 of My Favorite Pieces from the AGTA Spectrum Awards Editors’ Day

Senior Editor Brecken Branstrator’s highlights include a chrome tourmaline ring, a giant opal necklace, and an American mined stone.

CrimeNov 18, 2022
Jewelry Store Security Guard Killed in Armed Robbery

Police in Calumet City, Illinois are looking for several suspects involved in the robbery of a jewelry store in the River Oaks Mall.

MajorsNov 18, 2022
AGS Adds Sumit Dangi to Board of Directors

Dangi is global chief financial officer and treasurer at Jewelers Mutual Group.

CollectionsNov 18, 2022
Piece of the Week: Tabayer’s ‘Oera’ Pendant

The brand’s signature shape is rendered in an autumn-appropriate color palette.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy