Jeff Dutton September 23, 2021 5 min read

AGC Updates on COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Mandates

As you may know by now, there is a federal mandate being put into action regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and testing. Recently, the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Wisconsin forwarded the information below to members to inform them of the policies coming out of Washington, D.C.

From the AGC:

Executive Order on Vaccination Mandates for Direct Federal Contractors

      • This requires employees of federal contractors and subcontractors (at any tier) to be vaccinated. There is no option for weekly testing.
      • The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (Task Force) will draft guidance and a contract clause by September 24, 2021. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council will then amend the guidance.
      • Direct federal contracts can expect this requirement in all new solicitations, contracts, extensions, and renewals, starting on or about October 15, 2021.

AGC Actions & Positions

      • The AGC is in regular contact with Task Force & FAR Council
      • The AGC is seeking clarification regarding the following issues and questions:
          • Application of the vaccine mandate to outdoor construction, e.g., heavy civil and new building projects.
          • Exceptions for healthcare owners, national security interests, and interior renovations where federal employees do not work in the building.
          • Prime contractors should not be held liable for subcontractors' and lower-tier subcontractors’ compliance with the vaccination requirements. Similarly, subcontractors should not be liable for their subcontractors' and lower-tier subcontractors’ compliance.
          • Submission directly to one federal agency (e.g., OSHA).
          • The mandate should not be implemented until collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) expire.
          • Will there be a grace period?
          • Does this cover only workers on the job site or all employees?

Testing Mandate for Employers of 100 or More Employees

      • OSHA will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard.
      • This will require vaccination OR weekly testing for employees.
      • This will require employers to provide paid time off for employees to get vaccinated or recover from any adverse effects.
      • This is really a TESTING MANDATE.

AGC Actions & Positions

      • The AGC is in daily contact with OSHA and is bringing forth potential issues and questions, including:
          • Recordkeeping
          • Prime contractors should not be held liable for subcontractors' and lower-tier subcontractors’ compliance with the testing mandate. Similarly, subcontractors should not be liable for their subcontractors' and lower-tier subcontractors’ compliance.
          • Supply chain availability for expanded testing.
          • Lab capacity for processing expanded testing.
          • Who pays for the testing? The initial conclusion is that OSHA will require the employer to pay for the testing.
          • AGC is advocating for this to be a truly temporary Emergency Temporary Standard. The need for such a testing mandate will diminish as vaccination rates increase and/or herd immunity is achieved.

Please click here for access to the AGC COVID-19 Vaccine Tool Kit, including webinar recordings.

The Health and Safety team will continue to share updates as more information becomes available. Please reach out if you have questions. 

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Jeff Dutton

Jeff joined the Hausmann-Johnson safety team in 2020 and brings a wealth of experience in construction and manufacturing safety to his role. Prior to joining HJI, he was the Safety Director for H&H Group Holdings in Madison. Jeff’s passion for safety is tangible, and he likes to think outside the box to help clients develop strategic safety programs and keep their employees safe. Jeff has been affiliated with Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin since 2005. He has been an active member of the ABC Safety Committee for 14 years, served on the Apprenticeship Advisory Committee for 10 years, and was appointed to the ABC Board of Directors for a three year term. He was also a member of the ABC National Diversity Committee. Additionally, Jeff has been a member of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) Safety Committee for the past four years. Jeff attended Keene State College in Keene, NH, Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, NH, and New England College in Henniker, NH. He is a fanatical cook and especially loves smoking meats and improving on the flavor of his creations. If he’s not cooking, he’s most likely out golfing or hunting on the weekends. Jeff is also an avid volunteer with organizations such as the Joe Butcher Blues Fest, Second Harvest Foodbank, Ronald McDonald House, Salvation Army, and Agrace.

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