President Biden’s Vaccine Push: Paid Leave for Family Member Vaccinations and Federal Contractor Mandates
On July 29, 2021, President Biden announced additional efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccinations in the U.S. Of interest to employers, these efforts include (1) reimbursements to small and medium-sized employers to provide paid leave for family member vaccinations; and (2) certain vaccine-related mandates applicable to on-site federal contractors, with the intention of expanding those requirements to all federal contractors.
Expansion of Paid Vaccine Leave Reimbursements. Under the American Rescue Plan Act, employers with fewer than 500 employees could choose to provide paid leave, and get a tax credit, for employees to become vaccinated. President Biden has now announced that those employers may be reimbursed if they offer paid leave for employees to get their family members vaccinated.
Federal Contractor Vaccine Requirements. Onsite contractors will be required to attest to their vaccination status. Anyone who is not fully vaccinated will be required to wear a mask on the job, regardless of their location, practice social distancing from all others, comply with a weekly or twice-weekly testing requirement, and be subject to restrictions on official travel. President Biden has also instructed his team to apply similar standards to all off-site federal contractors as well.
The technical details of these initiatives have yet to be released. We will keep you updated on any developments.