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05/28/2021

NACS Raises Concerns Over Oregon's Revised Mask Rule

The association argues that requiring employees to ask about customers' vaccination status is "calculated to lead to anger and violence."

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — NACS is among several associations urging U.S. health agencies to issue statements "emphasizing that state and local rules should not place the burden of verifying vaccination on employees."

Following 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, NACS penned a 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.

The new Oregon policy requires "local businesses to verify the vaccination status of customers" — a policy that the letter states "is alarming."

"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," the letter states. "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."


NACS is joined by 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 in signing the letter.

The letter is available to read here.

"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 associations wrote.

Based in Alexandria, NACS is the global trade association advocating the role of convenience stores as positive economic, social and philanthropic contributors to the communities they serve. It has more than 1,500 retailer and 1,500 supplier members from more than 50 countries.