On November 10, 2021, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force released updated guidance and FAQs for federal contractors and subcontractors. The most significant change is that the Task Force has pushed back the deadline for covered contractor employees to be vaccinated to January 18, 2022. (The guidance and FAQs actually state January 18, 2021 but we assume that this error will be corrected soon.)
The Task Force also removed the FAQs that it had included in its initial guidance and replaced them with a link to its website. The updated FAQs do not include any substantial changes, but made key additions to several areas:
- The Task Force has provided sample signage about safety protocols:
- The Task Force updated the FAQ addressing circumstances in which the CDC recommends delaying vaccination and provided an updated list of qualifying circumstances, including those currently infected with COVID-19 as well as those suffering from certain medical conditions. The updated FAQ also explains that if an individual’s vaccination is delayed due to one of these circumstances and, therefore, the individual is not fully vaccinated by January 18, 2022, the covered contractors should require that the individual become fully vaccinated promptly after the reason for the delay is resolved. In the meantime, these employees should follow applicable masking and physical distancing protocols for not fully vaccinated individuals. Further, agencies may determine that covered contractor employees who are not fully vaccinated are unable to perform the requisite work at the federal workplace. But this determination does not relieve the contractor from meeting all contractual requirements.
- The Task Force has also clarified that the workplace safety protocols set forth in its guidance for federal contractors and subcontractors apply regardless of whether the covered contractor employee performs his or her work at a covered contractor workplace or at a federal workplace. Accordingly, covered contractor employees who work only at a federal workplace need to be fully vaccinated by January 18, 2022, unless legally entitled to an accommodation. Covered contractor employees must also comply with any additional agency workplace safety requirements while at a federal workplace.
This evolving situation will continue to be covered in future alerts. If you have any questions about these matters, please contact one of the Faegre Drinker professionals below for further details.