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White House Announces New COVID Vaccination and Testing Requirements for Contractors Working at Federal Facilities

July 30, 2021

On July 29, 2021, President Biden announced certain actions to “get more people vaccinated.”  The White House announced that “every federal government employee and onsite contractor will be asked to attest to their vaccination status. Anyone who does not attest to being fully vaccinated will be required to wear a mask on the job no matter their geographic location, physically distance from all other employees and visitors, comply with a weekly or twice weekly screening testing requirement, and be subject to restrictions on official travel.”  The White House also said that “these rules should not only apply to federal workers and onsite contractors. President Biden is directing his team to take steps to apply similar standards to all federal contractors.”  In his remarks on July 29, the President said “If you want to do business with the federal government, get your workers vaccinated.”  The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force – an interagency task force that is part of the White House COVID-19 Response Team – released model safety principles to reflect the July 29 announcement from President Biden.  The model principles, which will need to be implemented on an agency-by-agency basis, require federal agencies “to ask about the vaccination status of Federal employees and onsite contractors—employees and onsite contractors must sign an attestation confirming their vaccination status, or they will be treated as not fully vaccinated for purposes of safety protocols. Federal agencies also must establish a program to test not fully vaccinated Federal employees and onsite contractors weekly or twice-weekly.”  Because each agency has discretion to implement agency-specific procedures, federal contractors may be subject to varying requirements across the agencies with which they contract. The requirements for federal contractors continue to evolve and many employers may have questions the practical and legal implications of yesterday’s announcement and the forthcoming implementation.  The Crowell team will be tracking developments closely and is standing by to answer your questions.

Trina Fairley Barlow
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2830
Email: tbarlow@crowell.com

Peter Eyre
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2807
Email: peyre@crowell.com

Thomas P. Gies
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2690
Email: tgies@crowell.com

Kris D. Meade
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2854
Email: kmeade@crowell.com

Rebecca L. Springer
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2569
Email: rspringer@crowell.com

Anuj Vohra
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2502
Email: avohra@crowell.com

Rachel Lesser
Associate – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2572
Email: rlesser@crowell.com