The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, led by the White House COVID-19 Response Team, announced this week that Federal agencies “generally” cannot require employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or require employees to disclose their vaccination status.

Although the White House “strongly encourages” Federal employees, and all Americans, to be vaccinated, task force guidance released June 8 says vaccination status cannot make or break Federal workers’ employment.

“At present, COVID-19 vaccination should generally not be a pre-condition for employees or contractors at executive departments and agencies (agencies) to work in-person in Federal buildings, on Federal lands, and in other settings as required by their job duties,” new guidance issued from the task force says.

“Federal employees and contractors may voluntarily share information about their vaccination status, but agencies should not require Federal employees or contractors to disclose such information,” it says.

If a Federal employee does not decide to disclose their vaccination status, or discloses that they are unvaccinated, agencies should then implement CDC-recommended measures, such as social distancing and mask wearing.

Just last month, the White House announced that fully vaccinated Federal employees, onsite contractors, and visitors to Federal buildings no longer have to wear masks. However, those who are not fully vaccinated are still required to wear a mask.

The latest guidance also stressed that Federal employees can receive paid time off to get vaccinated and recover from any vaccine side effects.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.