Executive Order on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors

NOTICE:  On December 7, 2021, a federal district court in Georgia granted a nationwide injunction that prohibits the federal government from enforcing the federal contractor vaccine mandate, Executive Order 14042.  As a result, the federal contractor vaccine mandate is on hold pursuant to a federal court order.

Effective immediately, Texas A&M University and Texas A&M Health will pause implementation and enforcement efforts related to the federal contractor vaccine mandate, and will proceed as follows:

  • Because the federal mandate cannot be enforced until further orders of the court, Governor Abbott’s executive orders regarding COVID-19 should be followed by all employees including those who have already received the notification of the federal contractor vaccine mandate. Specifically,
    • employees cannot be required to submit COVID-19 vaccine documentation, but they may still voluntarily provide it if they want to do so.
    • employees cannot be required to wear face coverings in covered contractor workplaces, but they may be strongly encouraged to do so.
  • All pending notifications to employees in buildings recently identified as covered workplaces will be suspended until further notice.
  • We will proceed with efforts to identify building occupants to leverage the use of the new Work Space application in Workday.
  • All signage posted at the main entrances of previously covered workplaces (buildings) will be updated to indicate that masking is recommended (not required).

We will continue to monitor for developments related to the federal court order and relevant updates will be communicated to affected employees.

 

On September. 9, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14042, “Ensuring Adequate COVID-19 Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors,” requiring federal contractors to comply with guidance issued from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (“Guidance”) on September 24, 2021.

The Guidance requires that federal contracts or contract amendments entered on or after October 15, 2021, include a clause requiring federal contractors to follow the COVID-19 vaccination mandate and related masking protocols. These “covered contracts” include requiring documentation that employees are fully vaccinated or have a medical or religious exemption on file by January 4, 2022.

Memo: Federal Vaccine Mandate Guidance at Texas A&M

Vaccination Mandate

In accordance with the federal contractor vaccination mandate, any full-time or part time Texas A&M University employee working on or in connection with a covered federal contract, or working at a covered contractor workplace, must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as a condition of employment unless an approved medical or religious exemption is in place. 

  1. Employees subject to this mandate must provide documentation of COVID-19 vaccination, or
  2. Alternatively, employees may submit a request for a medical accommodation or religious exemption by completing the appropriate exemption request forms linked below.

NOTE:  Until otherwise directed, vaccine documentation and requests for exemptions will be processed through the REDCap portal using the unique survey link sent directly to the affected employee.

Accommodation/Exemption Request Forms

  • ADA Process for Medical Accommodations related to the Vaccine Requirement or Masking Requirement
    Employees requesting a medical accommodation should complete and submit the following two forms via the employee’s unique link to the REDCap portal.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Presidential Executive Order 14042 differ from the executive order for employers with 100 or more?
Because TAMU and TAMU Health are federal contractors, we fall under the executive order for federal contractors which went into effect in September. This is not the same thing as the executive order for employers with 100 or more employees.  

Does the Presidential Executive Order 14042 supersede Governor Abbott’s executive order banning vaccine mandates?  
Yes, federal Executive Order 14042 supersedes state Executive Order GA-40 that prohibits Texas entities from requiring COVID-19 vaccines. 

When will I be notified that I must comply with Presidential Executive Order 14042?
Once a federal contract is signed that requires compliance with the guidance issued by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force as required under Presidential Executive Order 14042, Employee Relations will send the affected employee(s) an email notification outlining the process for reporting and associated deadlines.

Do I have to get vaccinated?
Once TAMU or TAMU Health signs a federal contract, Employee Relations will provide specific instructions to the impacted employees on the steps that they must take to comply with the Task Force’s guidance which includes being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Employees will have the opportunity to request either a religious or medical exemption from the vaccination requirement.  Those granted an exemption will receive specific instructions related to their accommodation requirements.

What if I don't want to get vaccinated? 
Employees may request either a religious or medical exemption from the vaccine mandate. If approved, the employee must follow the specific instructions provided by Employee Relations related to their accommodation requirements.

Employees who are not approved for a medical or religious exemption must get vaccinated. 

When do I need to get my vaccine? 
It depends on when you receive notification. 

For those covered under the January 4, 2022 vaccination deadline, you will need to receive your vaccines by the following dates: 

Latest First Dose

Latest Second Dose

Johnson & Johnson

January 4

N/A

Pfizer

December 14

January 4

Moderna

December 7

January 4

 

When do I need to submit my vaccination documentation? 
As soon as you receive your vaccine requirement notification email, you are encouraged to submit your vaccination documentation via the provided link as soon as possible. Additional instructions regarding deadlines for submission will be communicated accordingly.

What does fully vaccinated mean? 
You are fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose in a two-dose series or 2 weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine.  To be fully vaccinated you must receive vaccines currently approved or authorized for emergency use by FDA (Pfizer, Moderna and J&J) or vaccines that have been listed for emergency use by the WHO.  That includes AstraZeneca as well as a few others.

The Task Force guidance does not currently require a booster or third dose. 

Where can I receive a vaccine? 
A list of available providers can be found at vaccines.gov.

Where do I submit my vaccine documentation? 
A personalized link to the vaccine documentation submission site will be provided to you in your vaccine requirement notification email.  Employees SHOULD NOT share their personalized link with anyone.

NOTE:  Until otherwise directed, vaccine documentation and requests for exemptions will be processed through the REDCap portal using the unique survey link sent directly to the affected employee.

If I previously submitted my vaccine verification for the TAMU, TAMU Health or Texas A&M University System incentive programs, do I need to resubmit my vaccine verification? 
Yes, those submissions were only for the optional vaccine verification incentive program.

What if I have lost my vaccination documentation?
If you need a new vaccination card or copies of proof of vaccination, contact the provider site where you received your vaccine. Your provider should give you a new card or documentation with information about the vaccines you have received. If the location is no longer in operation, contact your state or local health department’s immunization information system for assistance. With additional questions about vaccination cards or records, contact your state or local health department. 

What are acceptable forms of proof of vaccination?

  • A copy of the record of immunization from a health care provider or pharmacy,
  • A copy of the COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card,
  • A copy of medical records documenting the vaccination,
  • A copy of immunization records from a public health or State immunization information system, or
  • A copy of any other official documentation verifying vaccination which includes your name, date of birth, vaccine manufacturer, date(s) administered, and the name of the healthcare professional or clinic site who administered the vaccine.

 

Do fully vaccinated individuals need to wear masks inside of affected TAMU or TAMU Health facilities (covered contractor workplaces)?
Per the Task Force guidance, this depends on the level of transmission as published by the CDC. If substantial or high, fully vaccinated people must wear a mask in indoor settings, except for limited exceptions discussed in the guidance. Individuals must follow masking instructions posted at the affected facility.

Do unvaccinated individuals need to wear masks inside of affected TAMU or TAMU Health facilities (covered contractor workplaces)?
Yes, unvaccinated individuals need to wear masks inside of affected facilities, including inside of personal offices. This includes those employees with an approved vaccine accommodation, those waiting to be fully vaccinated or those awaiting an accommodation decision.

Can I test regularly instead of receiving a vaccination? 
No, the vaccine mandate for federal contractors (Presidential Executive Order 14042) does not allow for weekly testing in lieu of vaccination. 

Am I exempt if I have had a prior COVID-19 infection? 
No, vaccination is still required for those who have had a prior COVID-19 infection.

Are there any accommodations for the vaccine mandate for TAMU or TAMU Health employees? 
There are limited exemptions for religious and medical accommodations. Employees should complete the appropriate form based on the type of accommodation they are requesting. Accommodation/exemption request forms are available on this website. Once completed you will submit the exemption form through your personalized link that was provided in your vaccine requirement notification email from Employee Relations.

How does this impact TAMU or TAMU Health wage workers? 
TAMU and TAMU Health wage workers are subject to Presidential Executive Order 14042 and must follow the same vaccination and masking protocols as full-time employees. 

What does this mean for visitors to TAMU or TAMU Health facilities?
TAMU and TAMU Health will post signs at entrances providing information on safety protocols for fully vaccinated and not fully vaccinated individuals. 
 
How does this impact full-time teleworkers?
According to the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, “An individual working on a covered contract from their residence is a covered contractor employee, and must comply with the vaccination requirement for covered contractor employees, even if the employee never works at either a covered contractor workplace or Federal workplace during the performance of the contract. A covered contractor employee’s residence is not a covered contractor workplace, so while in the residence the individual need not comply with requirements for covered contractor workplaces, including those related to masking and physical distancing, even while working on a covered contract.”