On September 9, President Biden signed Executive Order 14042, Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors, which directs executive departments and agencies to “ensure that parties who contract with the Federal government provide safeguards in workplaces with individuals working on or in connection with a Federal Government contract or contract-like instrument.” On September 24, the Safer Workforce Task Force published the following protocolsapplicable to all federal contractors and subcontractors:
- COVID-19 vaccination of covered contractor employees, except in limited circumstances where an employee is legally entitled to an accommodation;
- Compliance by individuals, including covered contractor employees and visitors, with the Guidance related to masking and physical distancing while in covered contractor workplaces; and
- Designation by covered contractors of a person or persons to coordinate COVID-19 workplace safety efforts at covered contractor workplaces.
Guidance also available HERE. Important Dates:
- The new requirements will be reflected in federal contracts awarded afterOctober 15 (contracts awarded prior to October 15 where performance is ongoing – the requirements must be incorporated at the point at which an option is exercised or an extension is made).
- The requirements must be incorporated into new contracts awarded on or after November 14(between October 15 and November 14, agencies must include the clause in the solicitation and are encouraged to include the clause in contracts awarded during this time but are not required to do so unless the solicitation for the contract was issued on or after October 15).
- The new requirements are sweeping and have broad and significant implications for all federal contractors, regardless of business size. We strongly recommend members read the hyperlinked documents below which provide important definitions (e.g. “covered contract,” “covered contractor employee,” “Federal workplace,” etc.), additional guidance, and FAQs.
- We are working with our partner organizations, such as AFRC and FFRC, to seek greater clarification about the requirements and impacts to existing and new Federal timber contracts.
- We expect litigation and will share updates on how legal challenges may impact implementation of the requirements.