Government Releases FAQ on Federal Contractor Mandate

Government Releases FAQ on Federal Contractor Mandate

Shared by Ed Orlet, NAED Senior Vice President of Government Affairs & Strategic Projects

The Biden Administration has released additional details on the federal contractor vaccine mandate. The updated guidance can be found here.

The COMPLIANCE FAQ reads as follows: “A covered contractor should determine the appropriate means of enforcement with respect to its employee at a covered contractor workplace who refuses to be vaccinated and has not been provided, or does not have a pending request for, an accommodation. This may include the covered contractor using its usual processes for enforcement of workplace policies, such as those addressed in the contractor’s employee handbook or collective bargaining agreements.

“One model for enforcement among employees with respect to non-compliance with a vaccination requirement is that being followed by Federal agencies. Guidance for Federal agencies is to utilize an enforcement policy that encourages compliance, including through a limited period of counseling and education, followed by additional disciplinary measures if necessary. Removal occurs only after continued noncompliance. Guidance for Federal agencies is that employees should not be placed on administrative leave while the agency is pursuing an adverse action for refusal to be vaccinated but will be required to follow safety protocols for employees who are not fully vaccinated when reporting to agency worksites.”

Additionally, the guidelines instruct federal agencies to take the following steps if a contractor is found to be out of compliance:

“Covered contractors are expected to comply with all requirements set forth in their contract. Where covered contractors are working in good faith and encounter challenges with compliance with COVID-19 workplace safety protocols, the agency contracting officer should work with them to address these challenges. If a covered contractor is not taking steps to comply, significant actions, such as termination of the contract, should be taken.”

Finally, regarding states with contradictory laws or rules, the FAQ states: “These requirements are promulgated pursuant to Federal law and supersede any contrary State or local law or ordinance.”

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