Texas Governor Greg Abbott just raised the stakes in the inevitable tide of litigation about President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates by issuing an Executive Order banning vaccine mandates in Texas. We expect other states to follow suit. This raises important questions for federal contractors, who are working against the clock to ensure compliance with the new vaccine mandate applicable to most federal contracts by December 8, 2021 (see our most recent blog post about the details of the mandate, Government Contractor Vaccine Mandate FAQ: Status of Class Deviations and Accommodations Process).Continue reading “State Vaccine Mandate Bans: What Are Federal Contractors to Do?”
It has been a busy week on the federal contractor COVID-19 vaccine mandate front. We answer questions below about the new class deviations that should start showing up in new contracts and solicitations, and key open issues on exemptions and coverage.
Where do things stand right now?
The Executive Order (“EO”) contemplated formal FAR amendments to be published by October 8, 2021. That date looks like it will slip. The open FAR Case shows an Ad Hoc Team has been tasked with drafting a FAR rule, with a report due on November 17. In the interim, both the Civilian and Defense Agency Acquisition Councils issued class deviations (here and here, respectively) implementing the EO. The deviations largely mirror the September 24, 2021, guidance.Continue reading “Government Contractor Vaccine Mandate FAQ: Status of Class Deviations and Accommodations Process”
Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that partners Dominique L. Casimir, Justin A. Chiarodo, Stephanie M. Harden, Luke W. Meier, and Jennifer A. Short; senior counsel David M. Nadler; and associate Robyn N. Burrows, of the firm’s nationally recognized Government Contracts group, have been appointed to leadership roles for the American Bar Association’s (“ABA”) Public Contract Law Section.
They will serve in the following roles for the 2021–2022 term:
- Dominique Casimir: Co-Chair – Debarment & Suspension Committee; Vice-Chair – Diversity Committee
- Justin Chiarodo: Vice Chair – Mergers & Acquisitions Committee
- Stephanie Harden: Vice Chair – Accounting, Cost & Pricing Committee
- Luke Meier: Vice Chair – Bid Protest Committee
- Jennifer Short: Vice Chair – Procurement Fraud & False Claims Committee
- Dave Nadler: Vice Chair – Procurement Fraud & False Claims Committee
- Robyn Burrows: Associate Editor – Procurement Lawyer
The ABA Section of Public Contract Law serves to provide balanced recommendations on procurement policy, provide a forum to engage with colleagues across all segments of the procurement industry, and gain insight into and develop unique perspectives of federal, state, and local public contract law. For more information, please visit the Section’s webpage.
Answering some questions and raising others, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force issued its highly anticipated COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors on Friday, September 24. The Guidance follows the president’s September 9, 2021, Executive Order (“EO”), which we summarized in FAQ: Government Contractor COVID Safeguards Executive Order.
In short: a broad vaccine mandate for employees of government contractors is coming. But the exact details on application, exemptions, and compliance remain unclear. New rules due by October 8, 2021, should better address those questions. Adding to this uncertainty, the Guidance encourages individual agencies to issue their own (potentially broader) guidance. That said, we can infer a lot from Friday’s guidance.Continue reading “Breaking Down the COVID-19 Safety Guidance for Government Contractors and Subcontractors: What We Know, What We Don’t, and What’s Next”
With the recent adoption of the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (“VCDPA”), the state’s consumers will have new rights to understand what data a company collects about them, how that data is used, and with whom they share it. In short, the new law will have a national impact on any company doing business in the state.
Led by attorneys from Blank Rome’s Privacy, Security & Data Protection and White Collar Defense & Investigation Groups, this complimentary webinar will provide in-depth analysis of the VCDPA and timely insights on how businesses should prepare to comply with its provisions, including discussion of:
- Scope of the VCDPA;
- The VCDPA compared to the California Consumer Privacy Act and other privacy regimes;
- New data rights of consumers;
- Information security requirements; and
- Issues related to enforcement.
- Sharon R. Klein, Partner and Chair, Privacy, Security & Data Protection, Orange County, CA
- Alex C. Nisenbaum, Partner, Privacy, Security & Data Protection, Orange County, CA
- Jennifer A. Short, Partner, White Collar Defense & Investigations, Washington, D.C.
This course is anticipated to qualify for the following CLE credits: VA 1.0 general credit
QUESTIONS? Please contact Courtney Litman via e-mail.
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
10:00‒11:00 a.m. PDT / 1:00‒2:00 p.m. EDT
“If you want to work with the federal government, do business with us? Get vaccinated” – President Biden, White House Remarks, September 9, 2021
We forecast in March (Will Federal Contractors Be Required to Certify Employee COVID Vaccinations?) possible COVID safety mandates for government contractors. They’ve arrived. President Biden issued a September 9, 2021, executive order (“EO”) that will implement sweeping COVID Safety protocols for government contractors, including potential vaccine mandates, to be established by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force.
This FAQ breaks down the basics and includes our assessment of best practices pending forthcoming rulemaking.Continue reading “FAQ: Government Contractor COVID Safeguards Executive Order”
“If you want to do business with the federal government,
get your workers vaccinated.”
-President Biden, July 29, 2021
Please join Blank Rome’s Albert B. Krachman, partner in our Government Contracts practice group, and Brooke T. Iley, partner and co-chair of our Labor & Employment practice group, as they provide timely and insightful analysis of President Biden’s vaccination mandate for federal contractors in the wake of the Delta variant, including in-depth discussion of:
- COVID-19 vaccinations as an element of FAR Part 9—Contractor Qualifications
- Scope of Mandate
- Contractor Vaccination Program Design
- Resolving Federal/State/Local Law Conflicts
- Vaccinations and Federal Market Share—Trends to Watch
Tuesday, August 31, 2021 | 1:00—1:30 p.m. EDT
To learn more, please read Will Federal Contractors Be Required to Certify Employee COVID Vaccinations? (Government Contracts Navigator, March 10, 2021).
At the end of July 2021, the Biden administration announced that, in addition to federal government employees, onsite federal contractor employees will be required to attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status. Visitors to federal buildings or federally controlled indoor workspaces and other individuals interacting with the federal workforce also will be required to submit a signed Certification of Vaccination form.
Any onsite contractor employee or visitor who declines to respond or responds that they are not fully vaccinated must (i) wear a mask regardless of the level of community transmission; (ii) physically distance; and (iii) provide proof of having received a negative COVID-19 test from within the previous three days if not enrolled in the applicable agency’s testing program. Federal agencies are required to establish a weekly or twice-weekly testing program for individuals not fully vaccinated. In addition, all onsite contractor employees and visitors, even those fully vaccinated, will be required to wear a mask in areas of high or substantial transmission.Continue reading “Department of Veterans Affairs Releases Contractor Vaccination Guidelines”
Our Part 1 post addressed contract administration related to changes to or a termination of a contract arising from the government’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. This post focuses on the cost management, documentation, and government audit aspects that contractors should be focused on to prepare for and mitigate downstream and currently unknown risks.
Responding to a change or termination will likely involve submitting a request for payment or compensation. The label placed on a contractor’s request for payment depends on whether its contract has been terminated or has experienced a “change.” The type of request for payment also can vary depending on the type of contract involved (i.e., cost reimbursement, fixed price, or labor hour).Continue reading “Government Contractor Best Practices in Light of Afghanistan Withdrawal (Part 2)”
It is hard to describe the manner in which the United States is withdrawing from Afghanistan. At this point, the safety and security of Americans and those who provided critical assistance to U.S. operations in Afghanistan are at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts. However, contractors in Afghanistan must confront the repercussions of shutting down operations in Afghanistan or dealing with significant changes in contract performance requirements. Translated—this means ensuring fair compensation for terminated or changed contracts.
This blog post focuses on the contract administration aspects that contractors should be thinking of now to prepare for and mitigate downstream and currently unknown risks. Below is a list of issues for contractors supporting operations in Afghanistan to consider.Continue reading “Government Contractor Best Practices in Light of Afghanistan Withdrawal (Part 1)”