On November 4, 2021, the Biden Administration issued a Fact Sheet asserting the launch of its long-awaited Occupational Security and Well being Administration (OSHA) and Middle for Medicare and Medicaid Companies (CMS) COVID-19 vaccination mandates. The Truth Sheet delivered vital information for federal authorities contractors by asserting that the December 8, 2021 deadline for compliance with Executive Order 14042’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate for contractors shall be prolonged to January 4, 2022, the similar deadline set forth in the OSHA Emergency Short-term Commonplace and CMS mandate.
The Truth Sheet additionally introduced that the new OSHA mandate is inapplicable to workplaces which can be topic to Govt Order 14042’s vaccination mandate so as to streamline compliance and keep away from the want to monitor a number of vaccination necessities for the similar workers. It will enable some federal contractors to keep away from the substantial documentation and recordkeeping necessities imposed by the new OSHA normal. Nevertheless, it additionally implies that federal contractors can’t provide workers who work on or in reference to a federal contract the testing choice that’s accessible underneath OSHA’s Emergency Short-term Commonplace. Some contractors which have purely business office areas not topic to Govt Order 14042 could also be topic to each the Govt Order’s and OSHA’s mandates.
The announcement follows intently on a November 1, 2021 replace to the Safer Federal Workforce Process Drive’s Frequently Asked Questions on the contractor mandate that supplied further flexibility to federal contractors in implementing the requirement. Particularly, the new FAQ steering clarified that workers with pending non secular or disability-based lodging requests might proceed to work – topic to the masking and social distancing protocols relevant to unvaccinated workers – whereas their requests are adjudicated. The brand new FAQs additionally present contractors with some further flexibility in addressing lined workers who refuse to turn into totally vaccinated by the deadline. It’s unclear whether or not the Process Drive will eradicate this flexibility in gentle of the delay in the Govt Order’s deadline.
As of two:00 PM EST on November 4, 2021, the Safer Federal Workforce Process Drive had not up to date its Guidance or FAQs to incorporate the new deadline introduced in the Truth Sheet. We anticipate that further steering from the Process Drive will comply with in the close to future.