• Joshua Duvall

Safer Federal Task Force Updates Federal Contractor Vaccine Guidance (Again)

On November 19, 2021, the Safer Federal Work Force Task Force updated its frequently asked questions ("FAQs") regarding Vaccines and Contractors. Specifically, for federal contractors, the Task Force published new and updated FAQs related to "Onsite Contractor Employees and Federal Workplace Safety Protocols."


Below are the new and updated Task Force FAQs for Contractors:


New


Q: On or after January 18, 2022, when covered contractor employees are required to be fully vaccinated, will onsite verification of vaccination status be required for contractor employees as a condition of entry to GSA-controlled facilities?


A: No, onsite verification of contractor employee vaccination status will not be required as a condition to enter GSA-controlled facilities on or after January 18, 2022, regardless of whether the contractor has a contractual requirement to be vaccinated as of that date.


On or after January 18, 2022, security officers at GSA-controlled facilities will admit any contractor employee with a valid PIV card to the facility without requiring onsite proof of vaccination. Onsite contractor employees without a valid PIV card will be considered visitors seeking to enter the facility for reasons other than to obtain a public service or benefit, and must follow the protocols for such individuals.


Onsite contractor employees must follow required workplace safety protocols while accessing the facility, such as mask wearing, physical distancing, and testing. The sponsoring Executive Branch agency will be responsible for ensuring contractor employee compliance with relevant workplace safety protocols.


Updated


Q: Do onsite contractor employees need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test?


A: Prior to being subject to a contractual requirement to be vaccinated, onsite contractor employees who are not fully vaccinated or who decline to provide information about their vaccination status must be able to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test from no later than the previous 3 days prior when in a federal building or federally controlled worksite. If a contractor employee is regularly tested pursuant to an agency testing program, then they do not need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test from no later than the previous 3 days when in a federal building unless required to by the agency testing program.


Q: How should an agency ask onsite contractor employees about their vaccination status?


A: Prior to being subject to a contractual requirement to be vaccinated, onsite contractor employees should be provided with the Certification of Vaccination form when they enter a federal building or federally controlled worksite.


Unless an agency has an existing system of records notice that permits it to collect and maintain this information on its contractor employees, agencies will direct onsite contractor employees to complete the Certification of Vaccination form and keep it with them during their time on federal premises—they may be asked to show the form when in a federal building or federally controlled worksite and to a federal employee who oversees their work.


Prior to being subject to a contractual requirement to be vaccinated, onsite contractor employees who are not fully vaccinated (or who decline to disclose vaccination status) are required to be able to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result from within the previous 3 days when in a federal building or federally controlled worksite. If a contractor employee is regularly tested pursuant to an agency testing program, then they do not need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test from no later than the previous 3 days when in a federal building or federally controlled worksite unless required to by the agency testing program.


Agencies may email the Certification of Vaccination form to contractor employees in advance of their time on-site or utilize a unique tool or application to share the form with contractor employees and enable them to easily complete it, but the agency will not maintain Certification of Vaccination forms from contractor employees at this time unless an agency has a system of records notice that covers its collection of this information from onsite contractor employees. Any such collection, storage, or maintenance of the attestation disclosure forms may implicate the Privacy Act and Paperwork Reduction Act.


Prior to having a contractual requirement for its employees to be vaccinated and if authorized and consistent with the terms of the contract, an agency may work with a contractor to facilitate compliance by its onsite employees with the agency’s safety protocols, such as by having the company attest that all onsite contractor employees are fully vaccinated.


Q: Are agencies required to establish different safety protocols for fully vaccinated and not fully vaccinated individuals?


A: Yes. Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to physically distance or have restrictions on their official travel (although they still must comply with any local requirements and relevant CDC guidance for fully vaccinated individuals while traveling). Fully vaccinated individuals in areas of substantial or high transmission (see the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker County View) need to wear a mask in public indoor settings. Fully vaccinated individuals in areas of low or moderate transmission do not need to wear a mask, unless required by state or local regulations or laws.


Fully vaccinated individuals might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission for a variety of reasons.


Some employees will not be vaccinated because they are legally entitled to a reasonable accommodation. Some onsite contractor employees may not yet be subject to a contractual requirement to be vaccinated. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated or who decline to provide information about their vaccination status must wear masks regardless of community transmission level, physically distance, and comply with travel requirements for not fully vaccinated individuals.


Prior to being subject to a contractual requirement to be vaccinated, onsite contractor employees who are not fully vaccinated or who decline to provide information about their vaccination status must be able to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test from no later than the previous 3 days when in a federal building or federally controlled worksite. If a contractor employee is regularly tested pursuant to an agency testing program, then they do not need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test from no later than the previous 3 days when in a federal building or federally controlled worksite unless required to by the agency testing program.


. . .


#govcon #vaccinemandate #saferfederaltaskforce

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