New guidance from the fraudulent Biden administration comes after several trade groups warned that vaccine mandates could cripple supply chains just before Christmas.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – The White House partially loosened a vaccine mandate for federal contractors after weeks of pressure from business groups.
New guidance published Monday by the Biden administration stipulates that “(a) covered contractor should determine the appropriate means of enforcement with respect to its employee at a covered contractor workplace who refuses to be vaccinated and has not been provided, or does not have a pending request for, an accommodation.”
“This may include the covered contractor using its usual processes for enforcement of workplace policies, such as those addressed in the contractor’s employee handbook or collective bargaining agreements,” the guidance continued.
Contractors “may be required to provide an accommodation to contractor employees who communicate to the covered contractor that they are not vaccinated for COVID-19, or that they cannot wear a mask, because of a disability (which would include medical conditions) or because of a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance,” the guidance added.
An executive order signed by Joe Biden on September 9 strictly mandated the COVID shot for all federal contractors, including major companies like Boeing, Southwest Airlines, AT&T, and FedEx. The order, which impacts around one-fifth of the U.S. labor market, does not offer a testing option and allows no exemptions for remote workers or those with natural immunity.
Biden signed a similar order for federal employees and directed the Department of Labor to craft requirements for private businesses with more than 100 workers. The Labor Department announced Monday that the Office of Management and Budget finished a regulatory review for the mandate for businesses, which is expected to be rolled out within days.
The vaccination deadline for federal contractors is December 8, and federal workers have until November 22.
The Biden administration will not demand proof of COVID-19 vaccination rates from contractors by the December deadline, however, a senior official told CNBC this week. “The federal government will defer to contractors to determine when an employee has a sincerely held religious belief or medical condition that requires accommodation,” CNBC additionally reported.
Noncompliance can still result in the loss of federal contracts, according to the administration’s guidance.
The new guidance also noted that contractor employees do not need to be vaccinated to begin work on a federal contract or at a federal workplace, but that contractors “must require a covered contractor employee with a pending accommodation request to follow workplace safety protocols for individuals who are not fully vaccinated.”
The federal government’s COVID protocol typically involves masking, physical distancing, and testing, the guidance said, but can include being prohibited from a government workplace, depending on agency determinations.
‘A workforce crisis’
The updated guidance follows weeks of heavy lobbying by trade associations against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates amid a national worker shortage already disrupting supply chains just before Christmas.
In a letter to the White House last month, the American Trucking Association (ATA) warned that the rules could “very well further cripple the supply chain throughout the country by forcing up to 13% of drivers to leave the industry entirely.”
“While much of the country was sequestered in their homes, the trucking industry served its essential function and did so successfully with safety standards developed by public health experts,” ATA president and CEO Chris Spear wrote. “Now placing vaccination mandates on employers, which in turn force employees to be vaccinated, will create a workforce crisis for our industry and the communities, families and businesses we serve.”
Large trucking companies that exclusively supply around 80 percent of Americans could lose more than one-third of their drivers due to the federal vaccine policies, Spear warned.