Government Executive: Questions Linger on Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors

“’Notably, the contractor order does not mention vaccination;’ however, ‘the White House’s announcement of the COVID-19 action plan, and the plan itself indicates that federal contractor employees will be subject to the same vaccination mandate applicable to federal employees,’ wrote members of the law firm Vinson & Elkins LLP. The order ‘applies to new contracts or solicitations issued on or after October 15, 2021, as well as extensions or renewals of existing contracts, or exercises of options on existing contracts, that occur on or after October 15, 2021.’…”

“In the meantime, experts have lingering questions.

‘The text of the EO for federal contractors doesn’t clarify several scope and other definitional issues that are important to the contracting community,’ Tom Gies, partner in the labor and employment group at the law firm Crowell & Moring, said in a statement to Government Executive. He said the following issues need to be clarified in the upcoming guidance:

  • What does ‘performing on or in connection with’ a federal government contract mean exactly?
  • Will the term ‘workplace location’ be interpreted ‘to cover everyone who may be working in a corporate campus/multiple building situation, where many of the employees do not work on government contracts?’
  • To what extent will the mandates be applied to subcontractors and vendors of prime contractors?
  • What are the specific enforcement and penalty details?…”

“For federal contractors, ‘does the EO meet the basic implementing standard required under the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act…that the new requirements promote “economy” and ‘efficiency’ in procurement?’ they asked. Also, ‘will there be liability protections for employers who are forced to terminate employees for failure to comply with the federal vaccination or testing requirements?’…” Read the full article here.

Source: Questions Linger on Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors – By Courtney Bublé, September 14, 2021. Government Executive.



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