HR Quick Scoops

Insights and updates from our members, for our members

Federal Contractor Vaccination Compliance Deadline Moved to Jan. 18, 2022

On November 10, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force released an updated Guidance (which you can access here). The new date for compliance with the vaccine mandate is Jan. 18, 2022.

Here is the relevant paragraph:

Covered contractors must ensure that all covered contractor employees are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless the employee is legally entitled to an accommodation. Covered contractor employees must be fully vaccinated no later than January 18, 2022. After that date, all covered contractor employees must be fully vaccinated by the first day of the period of performance on a newly awarded covered contract, and by the first day of the period of performance on an exercised option or extended or renewed contract when the clause has been incorporated into the covered contract.

The original date had been set at December 8, 2021.

Remember that the definition of fully vaccinated is 2 weeks after the second shot in a 2-shot series or the first shot in a 1-shot series. Accordingly, the covered contractor employee will want to have their final shot by January 4, 2022, so that they can be “fully vaccinated” by two weeks later – Jan. 18.

If your company is a covered contractor, remember that your date for compliance will depend on whether the clause requiring vaccinations for employees (who are not exempt for medical or religious purposes) is in your contract right now. If yes, then it appears that the date by which they need to be vaccinated is Jan. 18, per the linked document. If not, then the vaccination compliance date will be the first day of the period of performance on an exercised option or extension/renewal once the clause is incorporated.

OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard has been released

The ETS has been released. This OSHA standard applies to employers with 100 or more employees. The standard allows employers to require masking/weekly testing for unvaccinated employees who do not wish to be vaccinated. ERA is currently working on a document to detail the elements of the ETS, and we sent out a brief legal alert earlier today with some highlights.

OSHA’s website has been updated with a number of resources. You can access their FAQ about the ETS here.

OSHA has a sample mandatory vaccination policy here.

A summary of the ETS is here.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, reach out to our hotline!

Americans with Disabilities Act – Essential Functions

If you have called hotline with an ADA accommodation question, one of the things we discussed was likely the essential functions of the position in question. By way of refresher, an accommodation is not reasonable if it removes an essential function from a person’s job. But how do we determine what the essential functions are? One of the key documents is the job description, where the essential functions should be listed out as such. ERA has a handy checklist you can follow when determining what the essential functions are, and you can access it here. You will need your member credentials to log-in to the website.

As we are addressing situations where a worker expresses need for a remote work arrangement, one of the questions is whether physical presence at a particular location is an essential function. This has been added into the checklist.

 

Kentucky Safety and Health poster has been updated

Last month, Kentucky updated its Safety and Health posting. Here is a link to the website. 

We are having updated Kentucky posters printed right now. If you are interested in pre-ordering any updated laminated or unlaminated Kentucky 7-in-1 posters  with the new Safety and Health posting, you can access our poster store here.

HR Beat Survey Result: Are Companies Still Providing Paid Leave for COVID-Related Reasons?

With the September 30 expiration of the tax credits (thanks to Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the American Rescue Plan Act) for paid leave due to COVID-19-related reasons, a frequent question on the hotline has been this:

What are other companies doing when employees are absent due to quarantine, a positive COVID test, or COVID symptoms? Are they giving them paid sick leave or requiring them to use their own PTO/sick time? What about smaller companies?

Jeff Lucas, ERA’s Survey Manager and HR Consultant, facilitated an HR Beat survey last week to answer this question. For the full set of answers from 176 participants, click here.

And because we love charts, here is the basic breakdown by company size:

 

Survey results by company size

Federal contractor vaccination and COVID safety protocols mandate

Hat tip to our friends at Fisher Phillips who put together this excellent summary of the federal contractor vaccination and other COVID protocols mandate.

The federal contractor mandate may – or may not – be a prediction of what the upcoming OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard will contain. However, here are the key points.

  1. All covered contractor employees – including remote workers and those who have had a COVID infection – must be fully vaccinated by December 8, 2021, unless the employee is legally entitled to an accommodation for a medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief.
  2. All covered contractors must enforce mask and social distancing requirements.
  3. All covered contractors must appoint a person to coordinate COVID workplace safety protocols.

The covered contractor is required to review documentation from employees to prove vaccination status. Digital copies are acceptable. A recent test showing that a person has COVID antibodies is not acceptable. Employee attestations of vaccination status are also unacceptable.

We are eagerly awaiting release of OSHA’s ETS and will update our ERA members once it is available for review.

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