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White House Updates Federal Vaccine Requirements for Contractors

On Tuesday, November 2, 2021, the White House Safe Federal Workforce Task Force updated their FAQs for contractors:

Per the FAQs:

  • It now includes additions to address vaccination and safety protocols, scope and applicability of the guidelines, and compliance.
  • The updated guidance for contractors adds a specific answer to enforcement of the rule: If a contractor is not working in good faith and in good-faith communication with the contracting officer to ensure all covered employees and covered workplaces are in compliance with the task force safety protocols, “significant actions, such as termination of the contract, should be taken.”
  • The guidance includes what expectations are for a federal contractor attempting to verify the vaccination status of its entire workforce before the December 8th effective date and how a federal contractor should address an employee’s refusal to receive a Covid-19 vaccine.
  • Contractors may have had concerns about resolving all employee requests for accommodation to be exempted from Covid-19 vaccination. The government has clarified a contractor does not have to have resolved all requests before the employee begins work on a covered contract.
  • The task force also provides additional details about safety protocols for covered employees who continue to work on federal contracts.
  • Agencies have already begun including the contractor vaccination mandate in procurement contracts and have sent modifications to existing contracts, indicating a level of proactive emphasis on the White House policy aimed at increasing national vaccination rates.