COVID-19, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND YOU

COVID-19 has been covered in almost every monthly newsletter sent out for the past 18 months, with no duplication of information.  That’s true again today.

The White House and President Biden have weighed in on the push for vaccination by issuing President Biden’s COVID-19 Action.  While it covers more than just requiring vaccinations, that is a big thrust to their directive.  The impetus to vaccinate is made by hitting employers in their wallets.

Biden’s six-prong strategy consists of

  1. Vaccinating the Unvaccinated
  2. Further Protecting the Vaccinated
  3. Keeping Schools Safely Open
  4. Increasing Testing and Requiring Masking
  5. Protecting Our Economic Recovery
  6. Improving Care for those with COVID-19.

This article only covers vaccinating employees and how this may impact your employees and business. 

Vaccinating the Unvaccinated

The President’s plan will reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans by using regulatory powers and other actions to substantially increase the number of Americans covered by vaccination requirements—these requirements will become dominant in the workplace.

  1. Requiring All Employers with 100+ Employees to Ensure their Workers are Vaccinated or Tested Weekly

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work. OSHA will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to implement this requirement. This requirement will impact over 80 million workers in private sector businesses with 100+ employees.

  1. Requiring Vaccinations for all Federal Workers and for Millions of Contractors that Do Business with the Federal Government

Building on the President’s announcement in July to strengthen safety requirements for unvaccinated federal workers, the President has signed an Executive Order to take those actions a step further, and require all federal executive branch workers to be vaccinated. 

The President also signed an Executive Order directing that this standard be extended to employees of contractors that do business with the federal government. 

  1. This executive order covers all federal contractors and subcontractors working under federal agreements or solicitations issued on or after, or for which options to extend are exercised on or after October 15. 

The requirements will apply to contracts for (a) services, construction, or leasehold interest in a property; (b) services covered by the Service Contract Labor Standards (formerly known as the Service Contracts Act); (c) concessions; and (d) work relating to federal property or lands and related to offering services for federal employees, their dependents, or the general public.

This applies to contractors and subcontractors at any tier.

To keep contractors informed of what is required, go to SaferFederalWorkforce.gov or contact teddi@mrsoshasafety.com for questions or to be added to our list of people interested in receiving email updates, as they occur.

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