Have you noticed that as the specter of the Covid-19 pandemic started to decline, the regulatory burden to ameliorate its effects has been steadily rising?
A case in point is the Biden administration mandate for employers of more than 100 workers to require vaccination as a condition of employment. There was concern in the White House as to whether the President had the authority to force this is on everyone until, as Chief of Staff Ron Klein noted in a Tweet, they latched on to a “work-around.”
That clever idea is to use the administration’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to act in its capacity as a regulatory agency, which gives the mandate the force of law. As OSHA rolls out its new Covid vaccination requirements, states like ours must, if they operate their own agency (Cal/OSHA in our case), meet, or exceed the federal rules. We all know how that works out in California.
For a preview of what lies ahead from the federal or state agencies, see page 17 of this issue.
It Gets Worse
On top the numerical employment standard, the President’s executive order requires ALL Federal Contractors to force their workers to take the jab, regardless of the number of employees.
Which begs the question…are you a Federal Contractor?
The answer is not as simple as it would seem. You may be deemed a Federal Contractor, if for example, you are subcontracting to a company that is, or you get a letter from a customer asking to see your Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) or even worse you get an audit notice from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).
Instances of this activity should make you check through your past and present contract records. If you find language that refers to affirmative action, Executive Order 11246, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), whether it is a direct contract with the government or a subcontract with a customer, you will have a Jeff Foxworthy moment— “You might be a Federal Contractor!”
Among the things to do next is to get with your human resources people and see if they are conversant in the arcana of federal contracting. If not, or if you are the HR Department, there are other resources available, starting with the organization where we got much of this information— www.hrsource.org —or your lawyer.
By Garrett Francis, ECA President Email: [email protected]