New COVID-19 Requirements for Federal Contractors

New COVID-19 vaccine mandates for federal contractors and businesses with 100+ employees. Learn key requirements, timelines, and potential impact on contracts.

New COVID-19 Requirements for Federal Contractors

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden administration has announced new vaccine and testing requirements specifically aimed at federal contractors and large businesses. The goal of these new guidelines is to increase vaccination rates and help control the spread of COVID-19.

Important Updates for Federal Contractors

Several key changes are coming for those involved in federal contracts:

  • Vaccination Requirement: It's now a must for all federal contractors, whether onsite or not, to have their employees who work on or are connected to a federal contract fully vaccinated. A notable point about this update is that there's no testing alternative to the vaccine mandate.
  • Scope of Applicability: The mandate focuses mainly on service-related contracts. It's not a requirement for contracts or subcontracts valued at or below the simplified acquisition threshold.
  • Upcoming Guidance: More detailed instruction for implementation of these regulations is still to come. The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force is expected to issue new COVID-19 safety guidance for federal contractors by September 24th. Following this, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council should initiate implementation steps related to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) by October 8, 2021.

Changes For Businesses with 100+ Employees

Large businesses, or those with 100 or more employees, should also be aware of the following updates:

  1. Vaccine or Testing Mandate: The Department of Labor plans to issue an emergency rule that mandates businesses with more than 100 employees to ensure each employee is vaccinated or is subjected to weekly COVID-19 testing.
  2. Paid Time Off for Vaccination: Businesses are required to offer paid time off for workers to receive their vaccines.
  3. OSHA's Role: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be responsible for creating an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to assist with the implementation of this requirement.

Key Takeaways

Here are a few crucial points to consider:

  • Be Prepared: Both federal contractors and large businesses must anticipate detailed guidelines and prepare to comply with these requirements. It is a matter of when, not if, these guidelines will be published.
  • Impact on Federal Contracts: It is vital for federal contractors to understand how these new requirements will affect their current and future contracts.
  • Broad Implications: These measures are substantial steps by the federal government aimed at controlling COVID-19 pandemic. They are expected to have far-reaching effects across various sectors.

In Conclusion

This latest announcement by the Biden administration represents a concerted effort to control the pandemic through increased vaccinations. Both federal contractors and large businesses must closely monitor the upcoming guidelines and brace for compliance. As the situation unfolds, staying informed about new developments and the release of specific implementation details become paramount. Led by an experienced former GSA Schedule Reviewer, we offer proficient GSA Schedule consulting services available to assist you during this transition period.

Pedro has extensive background as a Contracting Officer and Contract Specialist, has worked across seven federal agencies, managing contracts totaling over $1 billion in the professional and tech sectors. His notable tenure includes serving with the DoD/DARPA during the inception of their robotics program. Additionally, he played a pivotal role in initiating the Cyber Special Item Number (SIN) within the GSA's IT Schedule 70 as a Team Lead. After graduating from Harvard, he started Blackfyre to help you win your next contract.

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