The nation’s largest business group wants employers to make many of the public-health decisions on what protections are needed to keep employees and customers safe.
“Those in favor of a regulatory approach envision government bureaucrats enforcing a rule book of regulations,” said the group in a letter Monday to President
The letter comes as business groups outline a preference for a unified approach to reopening the U.S. economy. The chamber seeks optional guidelines that workplaces can implement.
The chamber is also pushing the administration and Congress on another longtime priority -- limiting the risk of lawsuits that businesses could face -- in this case over the virus, said
Some worker-safety advocates said it’s wrong to minimize oversight. “It is the lack of worker protection regulation that is endangering the food supply and threatens our ability to re-open the country,” said
The chamber’s letter cited fear of penalties for minor infractions, including a “sneeze guard out of place, an employee using the wrong mask, or two employees five feet ten inches apart, not the mandated six feet.” The trade group lauded businesses that “have improvised and innovated in critical ways to protect the health of their employees and customers.”
Individual businesses know better how to move people around their floor plan to minimize contacts than government rules can foresee, Bradley told reporters on Tuesday. He said that essential businesses that remained open have shown they can do that, although he conceded that some businesses had fallen short.
“Invariably there’s going to be a place that didn’t get it right,” he said when asked about the
Trump plans to order meat-processing plants to remain open, Bloomberg
The chamber wants to see a liability shield for companies as they reopen in the form of “very temporary, very targeted protection for companies that are following the official government guidance and who are acting in a responsible way to protect employees and customers.”
Trump on Tuesday said he planned to sign an order aimed at
Some safety experts see the issue differently. The tens of thousands of workers that already are infected are “really powerful proof that just guidelines are not enough to stop this deadly epidemic,” said
The chamber is calling for guidance on reopening to be “generally consistent across federal, state, and local governments.”
Other trade groups, such as the
Two top trade groups for the retail sector on Monday
(Updates throughout from first paragraph)
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