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On Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force posted new information for federal contactors, whose covered employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Dec. 8 unless the covered contractor is legally required to provide an accommodation for medical or religious reasons.

The new information includes: 

Most of the Sept. 30 FAQs posted by the task force were taken directly from COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors, which was issued on Sept. 24. However, one new FAQ was added to the list:

Q: What is the prime contractor’s responsibility for verifying that subcontractors are adhering to the mandate?
A: The prime contractor is responsible for ensuring that the required clause is incorporated into its first-tier subcontracts in accordance with the implementation schedule set forth in section 6 of Executive Order 14042. When the clause is incorporated into a subcontract, a subcontractor is required to comply with the Task Force Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors and the workplace safety protocols detailed herein. Additionally, first-tier subcontractors are expected to flow the clause down to their lower-tier subcontractors in similar fashion so that accountability for compliance is fully established throughout the Federal contract supply chain for covered subcontractor employees and workplaces at all tiers through application of the clause.

NEW Q: May the prime contractor assume the subcontractor is complying with the clause?
A: Yes, unless the prime contractor has credible evidence otherwise.

Background: On Sept. 9, President Biden announced his Path Out of the Pandemic: COVID-19 Action Plan and signed Executive Order 14042, Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors. As required by the EO, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force issued guidance on COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors. Additional information can be found in this Newsline article and in the archived members-only webinar President Biden’s COVID-19 Vaccination Action Plan—What Employers Need to Know.