Federal Workers and Contractors Must Attest to Vaccination Status

On July 29, 2021, President Biden announced new actions to strengthen safety protocols for federal employees and federal contractors. This announcement was not an executive order, but does impose new requirements for federal employees and contractors.

Every federal government employee and on-site contractor is now required to disclose their vaccination status. Federal employees and contractors who cannot attest to being fully vaccinated will be required to wear a mask while at work.

This new requirement applies regardless of whether employees are:

  • In a location where COVID-19 cases are not surging (it does not matter where the employee is geographically located);
  • Physically distancing from all other employees or visitors;
  • Subject to restrictions on official travel; or
  • Complying with weekly or twice weekly screening testing requirements.

Vaccine Attestation Requirements

In addition to announcing this new requirement, the Biden administration also published model safety principles. These principles are aligned with the latest instructions issued by the CDC and OSHA.

As a result, federal departments and agencies are expected to:

  • Review the model safety principles and incorporate them into their COVID-19 workplace safety plans;
  • Address how COVID-19 safety protocols apply to contractors and promote workplace safety; and
  • Implement local requirements and restrictions in federal buildings and lands when localities adopt additional requirements or restrictions.

Important Criteria

Under the model safety principles federal agencies and employers must require federal employees and onsite contractors to:

  • Disclose their vaccination status;
  • Submit to weekly or twice weekly COVID-19 testing if they are not fully vaccinated; and
  • Wear a mask and physically distance if they are not fully vaccinated.

Every federal government employee and on-site contractor is required to disclose their vaccination status.