As noted in CIRT’s story on this topic in September, President Biden’s decision to impose mandatory vaccination requirements on individuals and private sector firms of more than 100 employees, etc. has been meet with wide spread criticism – as well as Constitutional legal challenges. One aspect of the President’s EO (Executive Order (EO) 14042; issued Sept. 9, 2021) that is less vulnerable to being overturned legally regards its application to federal contractors. While CIRT does not have a formal written policy on this matter, it typically opposes mandates, requirements, and other dictates that appear to be an overreach of the federal government that have burdensome impacts on the members. So although the vaccine mandate does not apply to all federal contractors and does not apply immediately to any existing contract – the threat of the mandate being imposed in the coming months means member companies with federal/public contracts will likely be negatively impacted when it comes to workforce concerns arising from the requirement.
Specifically, President Joe Biden order mandating COVID-19 vaccination applies to employees working on or in connection with covered federal government contracts and subcontracts, with some exceptions. [To trigger coverage under the mandate established by EO 14042, a contractor must enter into a federal government "contract or contract-like instrument" on or after November 14, 2021, that meets or exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $250,000)].
On September 24, 2021, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force issued guidance that requires covered federal contractor employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 8, 2021. The guidance also addresses several other important aspects relating to implementation of EO 14042, which is intended to be binding.