• Thu. Aug 11th, 2022

Federal contractors, submarines will be vaccinated by December 8

Dive brief:

  • Federal contractors must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 8, the Biden administration said on Friday. The new orientation details how federal agencies and contractors must comply with President Joe Biden’s demands Decree of September 9.
  • The protocols will apply to all employees of the covered subcontractors, including “employees of the subcontractors or subcontractors in the workplaces of the covered subcontractors who are not working on a federal government contract or a contract-like instrument, ”the guide says.
  • Associated Builders and Contractors said while vaccinations are important for the construction workforce, the new regulations will add to the already overworked contractors. “Based on our initial reading, these guidelines will result in additional compliance burdens, exacerbate the shortage of skilled labor in the construction industry, and increase costs for federal contractors and taxpayers, ”Ben said. Brubeck, ABC’s vice president of regulation, labor and states, in a report.

Dive overview:

Orientation of the Federal Workforce Security Task Force applies to “subcontractors at all levels, with the exception of subcontracts only for the supply of products”. It also applies to all workplaces as well as to people who work from home or work outside.

In addition, companies doing business with the government are required to designate a coordinator to implement new workplace safety requirements.

Under the new rules, federal contractors and sub-contractors with a covered contract will be required to comply with the following workplace safety protocols:

  • COVID-19 vaccination of employees of covered contractors, except in limited circumstances where an employee is legally entitled to housing.
  • Compliance by individuals, including employees and visitors of Covered Subcontractors, with guidelines for masking and physical distancing in the workplaces of Covered Subcontractors.
  • Designation by Covered Contractors of a person or persons to coordinate COVID-19 workplace safety efforts at the workplaces of Covered Contractors.

In a letter At the Federal Bureau of Management and Budget, Brubeck said the new requirement could mean fewer construction companies will seek federal contracting opportunities. An ABC survey in August of federal contract members found that 49% of survey participants would be less likely to bid on federal contracts subject to vaccine requirements for on-site employees, while 47% said that it would make no difference in their pursuit of federal contracts.

“While it is not possible to determine whether this sentiment is shared by the entire federal contracting community in the construction industry given the tight deadline for providing feedback, a 50% reduction in federal contractors competing for federal construction contracts is likely to have a significant impact on costs. to the federal government, ”he said. “Rising construction costs may hamper the ability of federal agencies to meet their construction-related needs to support essential government objectives.”

Brubeck said the construction industry is already facing a series of challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, including a shortage of skilled labor, increased material costs, supply chain disruptions, job site closures, additional health and safety protocols, and new government regulations .

ABC to share our detailed concerns with officials in the Biden administration and assess legal and compliance options for the Federal Contracting Rule and an upcoming OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard for employers of 100 employees. or more, “he said.

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