Back when we were all slowly going back to the office, about a year ago from today, President Joe Biden signed Executive Order (EO) 14042, entitled “Executive Order on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors.” 

Enforced by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Safer Federal Workforce task force, federal contractors and subcontractors were mandated to be vaccinated or have a sufficient and verifiable reason not to be. The EO included how the workplace should be prepared and how much testing for its employees a contractor and a subcontractor needed to do. We ran a blog on this topic last year: Biden Administration and His Call for Federal Contractors to Get Vaccinated.

Fast forward to now, as the curve has been flattening and amidst several court rulings that bar the mandate in their respective states– like those in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee,  the Federal Government seems to be giving in to either a potential narrowing or a partial lift on EO 14042 on a nationwide scale. .

Last October 14, 2022, the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) and the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (“Task Force”) sent a notification to government agencies on how to implement Executive Order 14042, Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors (Sept. 9, 2021). 

The nationwide bar on the enforcement of this EO was lifted last October 18, 2022, and agencies have been asked to not:

  • Take any steps to require covered contractors and subcontractors to come into compliance with previously issued Task Force guidance; or
  • Enforce any contract clauses implementing Executive Order 14042. To allow time to develop advice and processes for meeting agencies’ obligations under Executive Order 14042 and applicable court orders, agencies should follow the instructions provided in the OMB guidance.

From this point on, the OMB will be

  1. Creating new guidelines
  2. Reviewing and determining if the old guidelines are still relevant and if the new ones promote efficiency and economy in Federal Contracting as well as a timeline for implementation
  3. Shalanda Young, the OMB Director will determine if there is a need for additional guidelines for considerations or exemptions

You can check the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force website for further details. Peter Witts CPA PC will keep you posted if there are any more developments in the future. We keep everyone in the loop and would love to help if you need more details on this, please click on the chat button on the site. We’ll update you soon.