An update from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force says that agencies have a new deadline to meet for getting federal employees fully vaccinated: November 22.
The Task Force issued an update to its Agency Model Safety Principles in light of President Biden’s executive order which mandates that federal employees get the COVID-19 vaccine. The updated memo notes the deadline for meeting the new vaccine mandate. “Agencies must work expeditiously so that their employees are fully vaccinated as quickly as possible and by no later than November 22, 2021,” according to the revised memo.
The November 22 deadline is pretty much exactly what White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had said it would be when the executive order was issued last week. Psaki stated, “We expect federal employees will have about 75 days to be fully vaccinated. That gives people more than enough time in our view to start and complete their vaccination series.”
She added that federal employees who refuse to get the vaccine will face progressive disciplinary action.
The new memo from the Task Force highlights these updates:
- Federal Executive Branch employees must be fully vaccinated, except in limited circumstances where an employee is legally entitled to a reasonable accommodation. Agencies must work expeditiously so that their employees are fully vaccinated as quickly as possible and by no later than November 22, 2021.
- With the government-wide adoption and implementation of these vaccination requirements, agencies are no longer required to establish a screening testing program for employees or onsite contractor employees who are not fully vaccinated, although they may do so.
- The President has announced that Federal contractor employees will be required to be vaccinated. Prior to being contractually required to be vaccinated, onsite contractor employees who are not fully vaccinated and are not part of an agency testing program must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test from no later than the previous 3 days prior to entry to a Federal building.
The Task Force also said that federal agencies no longer have to worry about establishing a COVID testing program since this is no longer an option for federal employees per the new vaccine mandate.
The Task Force also noted that implementation guidance as outlined in President Biden’s executive order will be “released soon.” Under the terms of the executive order, the Task Force has 7 days from the date of the executive order (September 9, 2021) to issue the updated guidance, so presumably the updated guidance on fully implementing the vaccine mandate from the executive order will be out later this week.