President Biden announces the development of vaccination requirements applicable to many employers

On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced the development of numerous vaccination requirements that will apply to many employers:

  • Large Private Employers: The Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees to mandate that their workforces are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or show a negative test at least once a week.
  • Federal Employees: Federal agencies will be required to implement programs requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all federal employees, with exceptions only as required by law. By September 18, 2021, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force will issue guidance on implementation of this requirement.
  • Federal Contractors and Subcontractors: By September 24, 2021, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force will provide guidance regarding protocols required for contractors and subcontractors to comply with workplace safety guidance. This new safety guidance will include a vaccination mandate for federal contractors and subcontractors. Most federal government contracts entered into on or after October 15, 2021 will include the forthcoming safety guidance clause.
  • Healthcare: The forthcoming vaccination rules will apply to healthcare workers in most settings that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement.

To prepare for implementation of these requirements, larger employers need to develop vaccination and testing policies, including policies to keep vaccination documentation secure, plan for testing, and enforce compliance. OSHA is also developing a rule requiring larger employers to provide paid time off for employees to get vaccinated and recover, if necessary.

If you are considering a vaccination policy or have questions about the forthcoming federal rules, please contact Roberts & Stevens employment law attorneys Susan Russo Klein (srussoklein@roberts-stevens.com) and Philip Pence (ppence@roberts-stevens.com) at 828-252-6600.