Recent media releases on mandatory vaccines for Federal employees has increased the discussion related to COVID-19 protocol. An announcement about new COVID-19 policy affecting all government employees is expected to be released very soon.
Over the past year, NASCOE has been engaged on the topic of COVID-19 as it relates to employee safety, limited office staffing, telework, office visitors, mask mandates and vaccines. A recent inquiry with headquarters has revealed that at this time the national office has not yet received official information on the topic of mandatory vaccinations. They are catching up on the topic though news releases much as we are in the field. This underscores the fact that directives on this topic are coming from the highest level of government. The President will be the single source of decision making on this topic.
It is our understanding the White House is considering a rule that will require all Federal employees to be vaccinated. The President may mandate this new rule for all Federal employees or he may delegate authority for individual departments and agencies to make the decision. Reports also suggest another option which would include an alternative to a mandatory employee vaccination. NASCOE hopes to receive an update from the national office as soon as they have information to share. We will be expressing to management the concerns that employees in the field have on this topic. Also, we will continue to consult our attorney in Washington DC so that we have a complete understanding of legal authorities and civil rights as they relate to this topic.
Additional information about mandatory vaccines can be found by consulting resources provided by the Department of Justice, the Equal Employment Commission, and the Centers for Disease Control. These institutions/agencies are being looked to for guidance on the topic by many organizations. Links to information provided by these groups can be found below:
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is in charge of monitoring civil rights of Americans in the workplace. Here is a link on the topic at hand: https://www.eeoc.gov/newsroom/eeoc-issues-updated-covid-19-technical-assistance
- Department of Justice July Memorandum: https://www.justice.gov/olc/file/1415446/download
- Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Mandatory vaccinations and other COVID-19 protocols are all issues that impact our members. NASCOE leadership is working hard to stay on top of all issues related to COVID-19 and will continue to voice member concerns about safety and restrictions to the Department as we move forward.