On September 24, 2021, the Safer Federal Worker Task Force issued Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors.

This Guidance implements Presidential Executive Order 14042 which directs contractors and subcontractors, regardless of tier or size, but excluding those exclusively providing materials, to mandate Covid-19 vaccinations for all workers on federal contracts or subcontracts for federal contracts.

The purpose of the Executive Order and Guidance is to increase vaccination rates and to ensure that work places for the employees of federal contractors and subcontractors to federal contractors have as safe a work environment as possible relative to Covid-19. This Executive Order and Guidance are being presented as cost saving measures.

For those of you participating in federally funded contracts with State or City agencies, this Guidance does not appear to apply as the contracts unless the counter party is a federal agency. However, if the job or project is subject to Davis Bacon or McNamara O’Hara (Service Contract) wage standards or the Federal Contract minimum wage standards you may need to check the solicitation for instructions respecting the applicability of the Guidance.

The Guidance mandates vaccines for workers by December 8, 2021. Frequent testing is not a basis for an exemption. Antibody tests are not a basis for an exemption. Employers are required to provide exemptions for sincerely held religious beliefs or medical exemptions. Vaccine mandates apply to guests and visitors.

Employers subject to the guidance must maintain proof of documentation of vaccination from employees such as immunization records or a Vaccine Record Card. The New York Excelsior pass appears sufficient for this purpose.

Covered employers must provide for social distancing and masking based on the transmission levels in their counties (CDC COVID Data Tracker). Masking indoors and social distancing are required in New York City and surrounding areas as the rate of transmission in our area is deemed “high” by the CDC.

Covered employers must provide a safety officer to coordinate compliance with Covid-19 protocols. This individual is expected to ensure that Covid-19 safety information is provided to workers, guests and others and to collect and maintain the data on vaccine documentation.