January 2022: Minimum Wage Rate Increases

Effective January 1, 2022, minimum wage rate increases will go into effect for a number of states, cities, and municipalities. These increases will be applicable to employers who have employees performing work in the affected areas. Click here to view the new minimum wage requirements,

To help manage this challenge, we are providing you with a rates-only update that details scheduled state and local level wage increases that will occur on January 1, 2022 (as well as additional increases taking place after January, but before July 2022) so employers can determine the minimum amount they must pay non-exempt, tipped, and certain exempt employees.

November 2021 Federal Update

OSHA Begins Process of Creating Standard to Protect Workers from Hazardous Heat (WORK IN PROGRESS)

Update Applicable to:
All businesses with indoor and outdoor worksites.

What happened?
On October 27, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a notice that will begin the process to consider a heat-specific workplace rule for indoor and outdoor worksites with possible heat-hazards.

What are the details?
The notice, titled “Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings,” is the beginning of an enhanced effort to publish a new enforcement initiative to prioritize heat-related inspections and interventions at worksites.

The enforcement initiative applies to indoor and outdoor worksites where potential heat-related hazards exist, such as construction operations, and prioritizes heat-related interventions and inspections of work activities on days when the heat index exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

On these “heat priority days,” the enforcement initiative directs OSHA Area Offices to increase enforcement efforts for specific industries, including construction. The initiative provides enforcement guidance to OSHA Area Offices, including:

  • Prioritizing inspections of heat-related complaints, referrals, and employer-reported illnesses;
  • Instructing compliance officers to be vigilant during job site visits of circumstances where employees may be performing work in hot conditions such as in direct sunlight; and
  • Expanding the scope of other inspections to address heat-related hazards where worksite conditions or other evidence indicates that such hazards may be present.

For more information, please see the links below:

OSHA’s Public Notice

OSHA National News Release

Article 1Article 2

November 2021: CMS to Require COVID-19 Vaccine for Medicare and Medicaid-certified Healthcare Employees

Update Applicable to:

All employers with Medicare and Medicaid-certified healthcare employees.

What happened?

On November 5, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an Interim Final Rule (IFR) requiring mandatory COVID-19 vaccination of Medicare and Medicaid-certified healthcare providers and suppliers.

What are the details?

Per the IFR, employers must establish a policy ensuring all eligible staff (existing and new) have received the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine prior to providing any care, treatment, or other services by December 5, 2021, and all eligible employees must be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022.

The rule also will require facilities to allow for medical or religious exemptions in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and employers have flexibility as to how employees seek exemptions.

For more information, please see the links below:

Interim Final Rule

Questions and Answers

Article

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the links above and prepare to make adjustments to their COVID-19 vaccination policy to comply with the new rule.

November 2021: OSHA Released the COVID-19 Vaccination Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) and Was Immediately Blocked by A Federal Court

Update Applicable to:

All employers with 100 or more employees.

What happened?

On November 4, 2021, the U.S Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a new Emergency Temporary standard (ETS) rule published in the Federal Register on Friday, November 5, 2021.

On Saturday, November 6, 2021, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily suspended the OSHA ETS “pending further action” by the court, a stay order issued by a three-judge panel of 5th Circuit judges in New Orleans. The lawsuit was brought by state attorneys general and private employers, including filings from the governments of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah, all signees on the September letter that oppose the directive and claim that either OSHA exceeded its authority or the ETS is unconstitutional. “Because the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate, the Mandate is hereby stayed pending further action by this court,” the circuit court ordered. The Fifth Circuit challenge is not alone; similar cases have also been filed in the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuits.

What are the details?

The Fifth Circuit instructed the government to respond to the request for a permanent injunction by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 8, 2021, and allowed the challengers to reply to the government’s response by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 9, 2021. This means it is possible that we will hear a final decision from the Fifth Circuit in the very near future.

The Fisher Phillips law firm stated that “at the moment, the outcome of the OSHA ETS is uncertain. While OSHA must refrain from enforcing the ETS until the Fifth Circuit says otherwise, this could change in the blink of an eye if a full panel of appeals court judges removes the stay. And again, with several separate lawsuits filed in different courts challenging the ETS, it is likely that a final binding and unifying determination will not be made for weeks or even months.”

With that said, we wanted to provide a breakdown of the most important areas within the OSHA ETS so that employers can have what is needed in order to be prepared in the event the stay order is removed by the courts.

Details on the OSHA ETS:

OSHA’s ETS requires that employers with 100 or more employees will need to implement a mandatory vaccination requirement but provides an exception for employers that instead adopt a policy requiring employees to either get vaccinated or elect to undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work in lieu of vaccination.

  • This ETS presents the implementation of a mandatory vaccination policy as a preferred compliance option and will preempt inconsistent state and local requirements that ban or limit employers’ authority to require vaccination (See “Purpose”, Section VI. A. Summary and Explanation of the ETS)
  • OSHA provides further guidance on what proof of vaccination employers can obtain (See “Determination of Employee Vaccination Status”, Section VI.E. of the ETS)
  • Post-January 4th, 2022, employers will be required to remove from the workplace any employee who receives a positive COVID-19 test or is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a licensed health care provider (See ”Employee Notification to Employer of a Positive COVID-19 Test and Removal”, Section VI.H. of the ETS)
  • Employers must maintain a record and a roster of each employee’s vaccination status (See “Determination of Employee Vaccination Status”, Section VI.E. of the ETS)

The ETS requires employers to support COVID-19 vaccination for each employee by providing a reasonable amount of time to each employee for vaccination and reasonable time and paid sick leave to each employee for side effects experienced following vaccination. All covered employers are required by the ETS to bear the cost of providing up to four hours of paid time and reasonable paid sick leave needed to support vaccination, but where an employee chooses to remain unvaccinated, the ETS does not require employers to pay for the costs associated with regular COVID-19 testing or the use of face coverings (See “Employer Support for Employee Vaccination ETS Requirements”, Section VI.D of the ETS)

  • Regarding the pay requirement, the ETS does not offer flexibility or immunity. The ETS states “The feasibility of paying for the time is addressed in OSHA’s economic analysis…the determination focuses on whether employers would encounter obstacles in implementing payment policies that would make this requirement infeasible for the large employers covered by this ETS. OSHA has determined that there are no such obstacles.” (See “Providing Support for Vaccination”, Section IV. A. III of the ETS)
  • The ETS will not require employers to pay for the testing nor to provide the testing. Outside of the ETS, there may be requirements to pay for the testing under federal/state/local laws and collective bargaining agreements
  • In determining whether an employer meets the 100-employee threshold, employers must include all employees across all their U.S. locations, regardless of vaccination status or where an employee performs work. Part-time employees count towards the company total, but independent contractors do not. Additional sections of the ETS detail how the threshold should be determined in situations involving franchisees, multi-employer workplaces, and staffing agencies.
  • OSHA provides details on the type of testing that will be acceptable (See “COVID-19 Testing for Employees Who Are Not Fully Vaccinated”, Section VI.G. of the ETS)
  • The ETS determines that the hazard being regulated must constitute a grave danger to employees (see “Grave Danger”, Section III.A. of the ETS)
  • Employers must ensure that they enforce the requirements of their policies with respect to their workforce, through training. A training provision can be found here

*Latest Update (Thursday, November 11, 2021)*

The federal government stated in its court filing Monday that the cases should be consolidated, and that one of the circuit courts where a legal challenge has been filed should be chosen at random on Nov. 16 to hear it (see below update link).

On Monday, November 8, 2021, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre expressed confidence that the COVID-19 vaccine mandate can withstand the legal challenges. “This is an authority that we believe the Department of Labor has…Do not wait to take actions that will keep your workplace safe.” Jean-Pierre told reporters during a press briefing (Link)

Petitioners’/Challengers’ Official Response Court Document (latest document of Case: 21-60845): Petitioner’s Motion to Stay Order 11/9/2021

Federal Government Response Court Document Submitted: Federal Government’s response to stay order (November 8, 2021)

Fifth circuit court original documents:

5th circuit unpublished order petition review document

5th circuit unpublished order for review of Texas motion

State plans:

On Monday, the California Cal/OSHA Safety and Health Standards Board posted an agenda for a November 18, 2021 meeting indicating it will discuss the adoption of a new ETS, presumably to comply with the Federal ETS requirements (Note: the meeting can be attended and has a live video stream; public comments will be taken). The agenda states that the draft regulations will be posted on Cal/OSHA’s website as soon as feasible. Generally, the states operating under a State Plan have six months to adopt a new permanent Federal standard. However, since OSHA adopted an ETS and not a permanent standard, these states, including California, only have 30 days to adopt their own ETS. (Note: there are currently 22 State Plans covering both private sector and state and local government workers, and there are six State Plans covering only state and local government workers – Link).

For more information, please see the following links below:

White House announcement

OSHA ETS FINAL RULE

OSHA’s FAQs

DOL’s Compliance Dates Handout

OSHA’s Official ETS Webinar

OSHA’s Official News Release

OSHA’s Summary

OSHA State Plans

OSHA ETS page

OSHA’s Vaccination and Testing ETS Fact Sheet

OSHA’s Workers’ Rights Fact Sheet (Spanish Version)

OSHA’s Incorporated Reference Materials

OSHA’s Social Media toolkit

Article 1Article 2Article 3 – ****(Comprehensive breakdown and FAQs)***

What do employers need to do?

Employers should familiarize themselves with the requirements of the OSHA ETS and prepare to implement those requirements if the stay is lifted and the emergency rule is revived.

Employers should develop an action plan that can be implemented to stay in compliance with the law and spend the coming weeks preparing for the ETS as if it will take effect, but wait to implement its measures until the final judicial outcome is certain. The earliest effective date for any of the ETS requirements is December 5, 2021, which includes the need for employers to have a vaccination policy and various other technical standards in place. The Fisher Phillips law firm advises that employers will be hard-pressed to develop these materials overnight, so employers should spend this interim limbo time efficiently and be prepared to comply should the ETS ultimately be upheld. Some of the items to prepare are:

  1. Adopt procedures for determining employees’ vaccination status
  2. Determine if you will mandate the vaccine or allow unvaccinated employees to be tested weekly
  3. Develop a plan for handling accommodation requests
  4. Have a plan for tracking test results
  5. Prepare for OSHA complaints and inspections

Employers should also review the DOL’s Compliance Dates Handout provided here, and review the links provided in the previous section above, including the above link to the Fisher Phillips Comprehensive breakdown and FAQs.

November 2021: Department of Labor Publishes Final Rule Setting Limit of Tip Credit

Update Applicable to:

All employers with tipped employees.

What happened?

On October 28, 2021, The Department of Labor (DOL) announced publication of the Tips Dual Jobs final rule, which sets reasonable limits on the amount of time an employer can take a tip credit when a tipped worker isn’t doing tip-producing work.

What are the details?

The final rule clarifies that an employer may take a tip credit only when an employee is performing work that is part of a tipped occupation, specifically; performing work that is tip-producing or performing work that directly supports work that is tip-producing for a limited amount of time.

The final rule also amends the provisions of the Executive Order 13658 regulations, which address the hourly minimum wage paid by contractors to workers performing work on or in connection with covered federal contracts consistent with the amendments to the dual jobs regulations.

Under the final rule, an employer can take a tip credit only when the worker is performing tip-producing work or when: 

  • A tipped employee performs work that directly supports tip-producing work for less than 20% of the hours worked during the employee’s workweek. Therefore, an employer cannot take a tip credit for any of the time that exceeds 20% of the workweek. Time for which an employer does not take a tip credit is excluded in calculating the 20% tolerance.
  • A tipped employee performs directly supporting work for not more than 30 minutes. Therefore, an employer cannot take a tip credit for any of the time that exceeds 30 minutes.

The final rule will be effective on December 28, 2021. For more information, please see the links below:

DOL News Release
Dual Jobs Final Rule
Current PDF Version
Executive Order 13658

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the information above and prepare to make changes to comply with the upcoming law.

October 2021: Planning Ahead and Updated Posting Requirements

Plan Ahead

(This section provides you with an overview of current and upcoming laws that take effect)

Law / RegulationEffective Date
Oklahoma Authorizes Tax Debt Garnishment NoticesNovember 1, 2021
New York Employers Must Permit Workplace Safety CommitteesNovember 1, 2021
FLSA Tip Credit Rule Takes EffectNovember 23, 2021

_________________________________________________________________________________

Posting Updates

(This section provides you with an overview of labor law postings for this month. Note: many of these are included in the federal/state labor law poster.)

Federal or StateUpdated PostingMandatory or Recommended
TBD
FederalFair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – Overtime Exemptions, Overtime, Joint EmploymentANTICIPATED
FederalMinimum WageANTICIPATED
FederalFamily Medical Leave ActANTICIPATED
ANTICIPATED
IllinoisYou Have the Right to be Free from Job Discrimination and Sexual HarassmentANTICIPATED
New JerseyWage TheftANTICIPATED
New JerseySafe ActANTICIPATED
New YorkDiscriminationANTICIPATED
VirginiaMinimum WageANTICIPATED
New YorkFair EmploymentANTICIPATED
ColoradoHealthy Families and Workplaces LawANTICIPATED
New YorkMinimum WageANTICIPATED
Rhode IslandMinimum WageANTICIPATED
Rhode IslandPay EquityANTICIPATED
MaineRegulation of EmploymentANTICIPATED
ColoradoMinimum WageANTICIPATED
10/1/2021
ConnecticutWorkers’ CompensationRECOMMENDED
MassachusettsCOVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave
(INSERT ONLY)
MANDATORY
ArkansasUnemployment InsuranceRECOMMENDED
MichiganMinimum WageRECOMMENDED
MichiganUnemployment CompensationRECOMMENDED
MichiganChild Labor LawsRECOMMENDED
MichiganPaid Medical Leave ActRECOMMENDED

October 2021 Federal HR Updates

U.S Department of Labor Announces Minimum Wage Increase for Federal Contractors

Update Applicable to:
All federal contractors with workers performing work on or in connection with, covered contracts.

What happened?
On September 16, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a Federal Register notice announcing an increase to the federal contractor minimum wage in Executive Order 13658.

What are the details?
On January 1, 2022, the order raises the federal contractor’s minimum wage from $10.95 to $11.25 per hour for workers performing work on or in connection with covered contracts.

Additionally, tipped employees performing work on or in connection with covered contracts generally must be paid a minimum cash wage of $7.90 per hour.

For more information, please see the links below:

Federal Register Notice

Article 1Article 2Article 3

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the order as well as their payroll and federal contractor policies and make any updates to stay in compliance with the order.

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New Guidance Issued for Federal Contractor Vaccinations

Update Applicable to:
All employers with federal contractor employees.

What happened?
On September 24, 2021, the White House issued new guidance regarding federal contractor employee vaccinations.

What are the details?
The guidance states that federal contractor employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no later than December 8, 2021, unless the employee is legally entitled to an accommodation. After the provided 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 covered contractor must also review its covered employees’ documentation to prove vaccination status. Covered contractors must require covered contractor employees to show or provide their employer with one of the documents approved in the guidance.

The released guidance can be read here.

An article on the guidance can be found here.

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the guidance here and their vaccination policies to update and apply the vaccination requirements detailed in the guidance to stay in compliance.

October Mid-Month 2021 Federal HR Updates

OSHA’s Mandate-or-Test Emergency Rule Pending Final Review

Update Applicable to:

All employers with 100 or more employees.

What happened?

On October 12, 2021, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) sent the White House a draft of the new Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for review and approval per President Biden’s instruction from September 9, 2021.

What are the details?

  • On September 9, 2021, President Biden instructed OSHA to develop an ETS that would require employers with 100 or more employees to ensure workers are vaccinated or tested weekly. 
  • On October 12, 2021, OSHA submitted a draft of the new ETS to the White House, which is pending approval and will most likely be published to the public between October 18 and October 20, and will be effective immediately in Federal OSHA States (see Article 1 for a list of states).
  • States with their own OSHA-approved plan will have 15-30 days from the effective date to follow this three-step guide below:
  1. adopt the ETS as enacted by federal OSHA;
  2. amend the federal ETS to be just as, or more, effective;
  3. enact their own standard or rely on an existing standard that is “just as effective.”

The Workplace Safety Practice Group at Fisher Phillips is familiar with the workings of OSHA and the White House and believes the following timeline is realistic when it comes to the next steps in the regulatory process:

  • White House review and approval of the ETS: between October 12 and October 15
  • OSHA publishes the ETS and makes it available to the public: between October 18 and October 20
  • OSHA publishes the ETS in the Federal Register (making it official law of the land): approximately October 27
  • State OSHA Plans will have 15 days to announce the adoption of the ETS or announce an alternative: approximately November 10
  • State OSHA Plans have another 15 days to make the ETS (or their own alternative) effective: approximately November 25
  • Enforcement begins after expected grace period for compliance lapses: approximately December 1
  • State OSHA Plan enforcement begins on approximately January 1, 2022

For more information, please see the links below:

Article 1

Article 2

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the links above, monitor their state’s ETS, and expect upcoming changes to the COVID-19 policies.

September 2021: Planning Ahead and Updated Posting Requirements

Plan Ahead

(This section provides you with an overview of current and upcoming laws that take effect)

Law / RegulationEffective Date
Maryland Amends Flexible Leave Act to Include Bereavement LeaveOctober 1, 2021
Nevada Enacts Kin Care Leave LawOctober 1, 2021
Montana Revises Independent Contractor CertificationsOctober 1, 2021
Connecticut Strengthens Lactation Accommodation RequirementsOctober 1, 2021
Nevada Bans Salary History Inquiries, Requires Pay Range DisclosureOctober 1, 2021
Florida Requires New Hire Reporting of Independent ContractorsOctober 1, 2021
Connecticut Amends Sexual Harassment Prevention Training RequirementsOctober 1, 2021
District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Act Employee Eligibility Requirements Temporarily AmendedOctober 1, 2021
Maryland Amends Mini-WARN Act RequirementsOctober 1, 2021
Connecticut Amends Equal Pay Law, Requires Pay Range DisclosureOctober 1, 2021
Nevada Bans Use of Noncompete Agreements for Hourly EmployeesOctober 1, 2021
Connecticut Tightens Smoking LawOctober 1, 2021
Connecticut Limits Age Information on Employment ApplicationsOctober 1, 2021
Maryland Implements Whistleblower Awards ProgramOctober 1, 2021
Montana Establishes Child Labor Exemption for Student EmployeesOctober 1, 2021
Washington Amends Quarterly Unemployment Reporting and Penalty ProvisionsOctober 1, 2021
Maryland Permits Employers to File for Peace Orders Against Workplace Acts of ViolenceOctober 1, 2021
Bernalillo County, New Mexico, Earned Paid Time Off Accrual and Use Cap IncreasesOctober 1, 2021
District of Columbia Temporarily Expands Paid Family Leave Qualifying Reasons and DurationOctober 1, 2021
Maine Amends Family and Medical Leave LawOctober 18, 2021
Maine Prohibits Direct Deposit FeesOctober 18, 2021
Maine Amends Emergency Responder Leave LawOctober 18, 2021
Maine Prohibits Discrimination Against Domestic Violence VictimsOctober 18, 2021
Maine Adopts Ban the Box LawOctober 18, 2021
Maine Amends Wage Overpayment LimitationsOctober 18, 2021
Maine Adds Protected Classes, Amends Disability RequirementsOctober 18, 2021
____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Posting Updates

(This section provides you with an overview of labor law postings for this month. Note: many of these are included in the federal/state labor law poster)

Federal or StateUpdated PostingMandatory or Recommended
   
TBD
FederalFair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – Overtime Exemptions, Overtime, Joint Employment.ANTICIPATED
FederalMinimum WageANTICIPATED
FederalFamily Medical Leave ActANTICIPATED
ANTICIPATED
IllinoisYou Have the Right to be Free from Job Discrimination and Sexual HarassmentANTICIPATED
New JerseyWage TheftANTICIPATED
New JerseySafe ActANTICIPATED
New YorkDiscriminationANTICIPATED
VirginiaMinimum WageANTICIPATED
New YorkFair EmploymentANTICIPATED
ColoradoHealthy Families and Workplaces LawANTICIPATED
New YorkMinimum WageANTICIPATED
FloridaMinimum WageANTICIPATED
Rhode IslandMinimum WageANTICIPATED
Rhode IslandPay EquityANTICIPATED
MaineRegulation of EmploymentANTICIPATED
ColoradoMinimum WageANTICIPATED
September 2021
IndianaMinimum Wage LawMANDATORY
MissouriVictims of Domestic and Sexual Violence Leave Time AllowedMANDATORY
MontanaDiscriminationMANDATORY
MontanaNo SmokingMANDATORY
GeorgiaWorkers’ Compensation Panel of PhysiciansMANDATORY
NevadaDaily Overtime BulletinMANDATORY
August 2021
MassachusettsWage and Hour LawsMANDATORY
MassachusettsPaid Family and Medical LeaveMANDATORY

September 2021 Federal HR Updates

U.S Department of Labor Extends Joint Employer Recission Rule

Update Applicable to:

All employers.

What happened?

On September 20, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the extension of the effective date for a rule that would rescind the Joint Employer Rule.

What are the details?

The DOL has announced an extension to the effective date of the rule to rescind the Joint Employer Rule. The rule that would rescind the Joint Employer Rule now has the effective date of October 5, 2021. This was previously effective September 28, 2021.

The information on the rule can he read here.

An article detailing the extension can be read here.

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the rule to make any adjustments to their joint employment policies that are applicable to the extension of the rule.

_________________________________________________________________________________

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Proposed Rule on Federal Contractor Wages

Update Applicable to:

All employers who use federal contracts.

What happened?

On July 22, 2021, the Federal Department of Labor (DOL) issued a Proposed Rule to increase the minimum wage for federal contractors.

What are the details?

The Proposed Rule, effective January 30, 2022, will raise the hourly minimum wage paid by those contractors to workers performing work on or in connection with covered federal contracts to $15.00 per hour. Additionally, from January 1, 2023 and annually thereafter, it will raise by an amount determined by the Secretary of Labor. The Executive order directs the Secretary to issue regulations by November 24, 2021, consistent with applicable law, to implement the order’s requirements.

The Proposed Rule can be read here.

The Executive order can be read here.

Articles on the order can be read here and here.

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the Proposed Rule and their current policies and processes for federal contracts and payroll to prepare for the proposed wage increase for federal workers starting January 30, 2022.

_________________________________________________________________________________

President Biden Enacts Federal Employee Vaccination Executive Order and COVID-19 Safety Protocols

Update Applicable to:

All employers with federal employees or who are federal contractors or subcontractors.

What happened?

On September 9, 2021, President Biden signed Executive orders in his administration’s Plan to Stop the Delta Variant and Boost COVID-19 Vaccinations.

What are the details?

The first Executive order, Executive Order on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees, requires Federal Executive Branch employees to be fully vaccinated, except in limited circumstances where an employee is legally entitled to a reasonable accommodation. Agencies must work expeditiously so that their employees are fully vaccinated as quickly as possible and by no later than November 22, 2021.

The second Executive order, Executive Order on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors, directs the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council to create a new contract clause that will be inserted into federal contracts. The new clause will require contractors and subcontractors, for the length of the contract, to comply with all guidance published by the Task Force for contractor and subcontractor workplace locations.

The guidance will be developed by the Task Force by September 24, 2021. Federal contractors and subcontractors will be contractually required to comply with the new COVID-19 protocols that are being developed by the Task Force on or before September 24, 2021. Starting October 15, 2021, the contract clause shall apply to:

  • all new contracts or contract-like instruments;
  • new solicitation for contracts;
  • new extensions or renewals of contracts; and
  • the exercise of options for existing contracts.

The following types of contracts are included in the scope of the Federal Contractor Executive order:

  • procurement contracts for services, construction, or leasehold interests in real property;
  • contracts for services covered by the Service Contract Act;
  • contracts for concessions (including concessions contracts otherwise excluded by the U.S. Department of Labor regulations); or
  • contracts entered into with the federal government in connection with federal property or lands and related to offering services for federal employees, dependents, or the general public.

The Executive orders can be read here and here.

Articles on the Executive orders can be read here, here, and here.

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the Executive orders here and here along with the safety protocols listed in the orders and the guidance that will be released by the Task Force to prepare and update their hiring, vaccination and other applicable policies and procedures to stay in compliance.