Nationwide vaccine mandates for contractors have arrived. OSHA’s national mandate for the private sector is closely behind. – employment and human resources


United States: Nationwide vaccine mandates for contractors have arrived. OSHA’s national mandate for the private sector is closely behind.

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Federal contract partner targeted first

On September 9, 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order 14042, an executive order to “Ensure Adequate COVID Security Protocols for Federal Contractors”. EO 14042 ordered federal ministries and agencies to ensure that contracts and contract-like instruments contain a clause requiring prime contractors to adhere to the guidelines of the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force. EO 14042 also requires prime contractors to include the same clause in all lower level subcontracting, pushing the same compliance requirement on subcontractors.

On September 24, 2021, the Safer Federal Workforce task force issued the guidelines required by EO 14042. In “COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors” the task force issued the following requirements:

  • All insured employees of the contractor must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they have a legal right to accommodation. The deadline for compliance is December 8, 2021.
  • All contractors concerned must ensure that all persons, including insured employees of the contractor and visitors, follow published CDC guidelines for masking and physical distancing covered contractor’s workplace.
  • All contractors concerned must designate one or more persons who will coordinate the safety measures at work in connection with COVID-19 Covered contractor workstations.

The guidelines define a “Covered Contractor” as “a prime contractor or subcontractor at any level who is involved in a Covered Contract”. A “Covered Contract” includes any contract other than a contract or subcontract with a value below the simplified purchase threshold of $ 250,000 or subcontracts “for the supply of products only”.

The guidelines define “Covered Contractor’s Employee” as a full-time or part-time employee of a Covered Contractor who “works on or in connection with a Covered Contract or works at a workplace of the Covered Contractor. This includes employees of Covered Contractors who are not himself working on or in connection with a Covered Contract. “Employees who work outside of the United States and its suburbs are not included.

A “Covered Contractor Workplace” is “a location controlled by a Covered Contractor that is likely to be any Covered Contractor employee working on or in connection with a Covered Contract during the term of performance of a Covered Contract.” excluded: employee apartments.

The guidelines are far-reaching and fundamentally require every employee who is being worked on or in connection with a federal treaty to be vaccinated by December 8, 2021. Work “in connection with” a contract includes those employees who perform human resources, accounting, legal reviews, or other work in support of a federal contract.

BrownWinick has heard from several customers who have questions about compliance or response to a contractor, or the government’s request to adopt the COVID-19 vaccine mandate clause. Contact one of our construction law attorneys for assistance.

OSHA nationwide mandate in preparation

It feels like forever since President Biden announced his nationwide mandate for vaccines (or testing) for private sector employers with 100 or more employees. We wrote about it more than a month ago. We have finally seen some movement in this mandate, which is being carried out by an OSHA temporary emergency standard.

On October 12, 2021, the Department of Labor announced that it had submitted its draft Emergency Temporary Standard to the White House for review. Once verified, the ETS will likely be posted on the OSHA website before being officially posted in the federal registry.

The content of this article is intended to provide general guidance on the subject. Expert advice should be sought regarding your specific circumstances.

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