JAN JEFFCOAT (ANCHOR): Vaccine mandates taking a toll on some businesses and public safety as police officers get pink slips for not receiving the vaccine. And workers quitting their jobs in protest of the mandate. One group suing the Biden administration over these policies joining us right now, and that is the Job Creators Network, Elaine Parker is the chief communications officer.
JEFFCOAT: So the Job Creators Network argues that taking someone's livelihood away over this policy amounts to an infringement of civil liberties. How has this policy already impacted businesses in your group?
ELAINE PARKER (JOB CREATORS NETWORK CHIEF COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER): Well Jan, first of all, what the American people heard when the president announced this mandate is that it was going to impact only our larger companies. So you think Amazon, or Coca-Cola, or Delta. But the reality is this mandate is going to impact companies that have 100 employees or more. And his own SBA, Small Business Administration, defines a small business as any company with less than 500 employees. So you’re talking about impacting a huge swath of our small business community and tens of millions of employees. And when we’re already facing the biggest labor shortage we've seen in decades, to put this upon small businesses and turn them essentially into the vaccine police is just an overstep. And we just fundamentally believe not only does OSHA not have the right to do this -- I mean the authority to do this, but that these are conversations that people should be having with their doctors in the exam room, and not their bosses in the lunchroom.
And let me be clear, we're not anti-vaccine. This is about the outsize impact on small businesses. This is not about being anti-vaccine at all. I personally am vaccinated and I encourage people to get vaccinated, but not when this is going to turn our small businesses into vaccine police and impact them in a negative way.
JEFFCOAT: The president of Job Creators Network, Alfredo Ortiz, he told me he was vaccinated as well and he did meet with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs regarding the vaccine mandate. What was the result of that meeting?
PARKER: Well, they gave us the opportunity to talk to them about the plight of small businesses coming out of this pandemic, how they’re facing such a massive a labor shortage. And we talked about a couple of members; one in Minnesota, a trucking company that meets the threshold just over 100 employees, and he simply can't afford to lose any truckers or trucking technicians. And the reality is -- what is the science behind the arbitrary number of 100 employees or more? I mean, does the virus not go in the companies that have under 100 employees? You know, he can't afford to lose those -- and across the board we're hearing from our members it's about 30% of their workforce that don't want to be vaccinated for whatever reason. And so for a company with 100 employees to lose 30% of their workforce shut them down. Literally they can't function. But a company like a Delta or a Coca-Cola, they can withstand not only the cost and compliance of this, but if 30% of their workforce walks off the job, they’re not going to shut down tomorrow. So it's a huge outsize impact, and so what we tried to do was explain that a one-size-fits-all mandate, you just can't do.
JEFFCOAT: Yeah, and some would say they understand about fining a company or fining someone if they don’t to perhaps get the vaccine, but losing their livelihood, losing their job as a result, they think that's a little bit of a government overreach as well.