By Brent I. ClarkJames L. CurtisBenjamin D. BriggsMark A. Lies, IIAdam R. YoungA. Scott HeckerIlana MoradyPatrick D. JoyceDaniel R. BirnbaumMatthew A. Sloan, and Craig B. Simonsen

Seyfarth Synopsis: President Biden recently laid out his administration’s next steps in efforts to get more Americans vaccinated.

On July 29, 2021, the White House released “Remarks by President Biden Laying Out the Next Steps in Our Effort to Get More Americans Vaccinated and Combat the Spread of the Delta Variant.” In his remarks, the President has stated that every federal government employee will be asked to attest to their vaccination status. “Anyone who does not attest or is not vaccinated will be required to mask no matter where they work; test one or two times a week to see if they have a — they have acquired COVID; socially distance; and generally will not be allowed to travel for work.” In addition, the President extended the new vaccination requirements to all federal contractors as well.

The President’s remarks follow the Department of Veterans Affairs requirement issued earlier in the week that doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers who provide medical care to veterans must get vaccinated for COVID-19. The President also called on all states and local governments to consider ways to encourage vaccination among employees, including potentially giving $100 to anyone who gets fully vaccinated.

Employers who do business with the federal government must update their COVID-19 policies to comply with vaccination and attestation requirements. Additionally, local or state governments may follow the lead of the federal government and adopt similar policies. Moreover, more private companies could voluntarily adopt mandatory vaccine requirement policies, as Google and Facebook have already done. Accordingly, all employers should evaluate their COVID-19 policies to prepare for mandatory vaccination or attestation requirements.

For more information on this or any related topic, please contact the authors, your Seyfarth attorney, or any member of the Workplace Safety and Health (OSHA/MSHA) Team.