COVID-19 federal vaccine mandate: what you need to know

This page contains resources to help comply with the September 9th Executive Order.

Federal vaccine mandate overview

On September 9, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order implementing several new policies to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in the workplace. These policies where subsequently detailed in three separate actions: (1) a vaccination rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), impacting health care workers; (2) a vaccination rule applicable to federal employees and employees of federal contractors; and (3) an emergency temporary standard (ETS) issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), applicable to businesses with 100 or more employees.

NOTE: All three rules faced legal challenges. At this time, the CMS rule is in effect. The federal contractor rule has been blocked nationwide by a federal court order, and appeals are pending in multiple federal Circuit Courts of Appeals. On January 13, 2022, the United States Supreme Court issued a nationwide stay of the OSHA ETS, pending further proceeding before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

While this page covers federal vaccination rules, employers should also consider whether there are any applicable state or local rules containing vaccination, masking or testing requirements for their workers.

Which employers are affected and what is the requirement?

Affected Employers Requirement
Federal executive branch workers and employees of contractors that do business with the federal government (government contractors).
  • NOTE: Enforcement of the federal contractor mandate is currently enjoined nationwide. Multiple appeals are pending before federal Circuit Courts of Appeals.
  • COVID-19 vaccination will be required for all covered workers and contractors.
All private-sector employers with 100 or more employees (OSHA ETS).
  • NOTE: As of January 13, 2022, the ETS has been stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court, pending further proceedings at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The requirements below are listed in the event that the Sixth Circuit ultimately reinstates the ETS.
  • Onsite workers would be required to be either vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19.
  • Employers would also be required to provide paid time off to get vaccinated and recover from potential vaccination side effects.
  • Click here to learn more about the OSHA ETS.
Medicare and Medicaid participating hospitals and other health care settings that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement.
  • COVID-19 vaccination will be required for all covered workers.
  • The following deadlines apply in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin
  • By January 27, 2022, all covered staff must have received the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine or have a pending request for, or have been granted, a qualifying exemption.
  • By February 28, 2022, all covered staff must have received the second dose of two-dose COVID-19 vaccine (if applicable) or have been granted a qualifying exemption.
  • The CMS has not yet indicated the compliance deadlines for employees in other states.

How ADP’s tools can help

ADP’s Return to Workplace solution offers the ability to track proof of vaccination as well as COVID-19 test results. It also includes sentiment and availability surveys, vaccine status surveys, health attestation and contact tracing capabilities.

Learn More

Additional resources

small business compliance employee handbook

Blog Article

Supreme Court Issues Important Vaccine Mandate Decisions on OSHA ETS and CMS Vaccine Requirement

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Join us for a special edition 30-minute event and get critical insights on what employers need to know about the latest vaccine mandate requirements and guidance.

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