DOL issues vaccine mandate guidance for federal contractors

A couple of weeks ago, we blogged about an Executive Order on vaccine mandates for federal contractors and employers with 100+ employees. This Executive Order addresses the approach for federal contractors, and the plan itself directs the Occupancy Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to initiate rulemaking for certain private employers. Because credit unions are considered federal contractors for certain Department of Labor (DOL) rules for affirmative action plans, there were questions about the scope of the mandate in the Executive Order. On Friday, September 24, 2021, the DOL issued guidance for federal contractors that may help clarify some issues. There is a section defining terms, followed by the specific requirements that fit into three categories: vaccinating employees; masking and social distancing; and designating staff to be responsible for compliance. The guidance ends with a series of questions and answers clarifying some specifics.

A few things to note – federal contractors covered by the guidance will need to have employees fully vaccinated by December 8, 2021. Also, this applies to new contracts awarded on or after November 14, 2021. These agreements will including the vaccine and mask/social distancing requirements. For contracts entered into before October 15, 2021, that have ongoing performance, Question #12 says “the requirements must be incorporated at the point at which an option is exercised or an extension is made.”

The guidance may also conflict with state or local law in some instances, but Question #19 says this guidance supersedes any state or local guidance.


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