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Biden administration tells federal agencies they should not require employee vaccinations

Biden administration tells federal agencies they should not require employee vaccinations
© getty

The Biden administration says that federal agencies should not make getting the COVID-19 vaccine a precondition for employees to work in-person.

The General Service Administration’s Safer Federal Workforce Task Force says in official guidance that all federal employees and contractors are strongly encouraged to get the vaccine and should receive paid time off to do so. But vaccine status should not be required at executive departments and agencies "to work in-person in Federal buildings, on Federal lands and in other settings as required by their job duties."

The administration also said agencies should not require federal employees to disclosure information about their vaccine status and that employees would have to voluntarily share information in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

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In cases of an employee voluntarily saying they are unvaccinated or if one declines to give their vaccine status, “agencies should use that information to implement CDC-recommended mitigation measures, including masking and physical distancing.”

The Department of Justice in a memo in May warned managers not to ask whether employees have been vaccinated. The new policy was a departure from February guidance at the department that said employers have the right to ask employees about their status. 

The staff for President BidenJoe BidenObama: Ensuring democracy 'continues to work effectively' keeps me 'up at night' New Jersey landlords prohibited from asking potential tenants about criminal records Overnight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE and Vice President Harris will be invited to return to work in-person full time in July. The White House has offered vaccines to all employees, making them encouraged but not required.