The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, led by the White House COVID-19 Response Team, released new guidance this week outlining COVID-19 testing requirements for unvaccinated Federal employees and onsite contractors.
The new guidance says unvaccinated Federal employees and onsite contractors, or those who have declined to provide their vaccination status, will be subject to COVID-19 testing at least once a week. Federal agencies are required to establish testing programs and pay for the cost of testing employees.
“As set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its testing guidance for Federal workers, agencies should consider workplace characteristics, availability of testing, cost, and level of community transmission, among other factors in determining the frequency of required testing for Federal employees and onsite contractor employees,” the new guidance says. “Agencies may have different testing frequency for employees with different job responsibilities or worksites.”
If employees or contractors come onsite “on an infrequent basis,” the guidance requires them to be tested at least once during the week they are working onsite.
The guidance also reminds agencies that they cannot require a Federal employee to work from home “based solely on their vaccination status.” Additionally, the guidance says those unvaccinated Federal employees who refuse to comply with the new testing requirements will be subject to disciplinary action.