U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), who represents the largest number of federal employees of any member of the U.S. House of Representatives, today hailed the Biden-Harris Administration’s announcement of a new requirement a requirement that all federal employees and contractors receive COVID-19 vaccinations or be tested regularly.
“Requiring vaccinations for the full federal workforce is the right thing to do for the health of the workforce and the nation they serve. Including all civilian federal employees and contractors in this mandate is huge, it will mean this covers a very large number of workers. This policy rightly prioritizes federal workers’ health, and demonstrates again the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to winning the fight against this pandemic, eradicating the virus, and keeping Americans safe.
“While the announcement includes an alternative that would allow workers to substitute frequent testing, masking, and maximum mitigation in place of vaccinations, I urge every federal employee and contractor to get their free, lifesaving vaccine. Guidance from the Office of Personnel Management grants all federal workers paid leave to receive vaccination and to recover from the brief side effects that some experience, and everyone should take advantage of that and get vaccinated as soon as they are able.”
Beyer, who represents the Northern Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital, led a request earlier this year to the Administration for paid time off for federal employees to get vaccinated which was ultimately successful.
The White House issued a Fact Sheet today announcing new actions to increase vaccinations across the country, which included the following:
“Strengthening Safety Protocols for Federal Employees and Federal Contractors. Today, the President will announce that to help protect workers and their communities, every federal government employee and onsite contractor will be asked to attest to their vaccination status. Anyone who does not attest to being fully vaccinated will be required to wear a mask on the job no matter their geographic location, physically distance from all other employees and visitors, comply with a weekly or twice weekly screening testing requirement, and be subject to restrictions on official travel.
“The federal government employs more than 4 million Americans, including over 2 million in the federal civilian workforce, throughout our country and across the world.
“These rules should not only apply to federal workers and onsite contractors. President Biden is directing his team to take steps to apply similar standards to all federal contractors. The Administration will encourage employers across the private sector to follow this strong model.”