The White House is “strongly considering” requiring federal employees show proof they received their COVID-19 vaccinations in order to return to their workplaces. The Associated Press said it spoke to a person familiar with the plans, who said employees who are not vaccinated will otherwise have to submit to regular testing and wear a mask. The administration is expected to announce its final decision later this week. (Federal News Network)
The federal employee vaccination mandate expected from the White House would have a big effect throughout the Washington region. If the White House follows through with an order that all federal employees get vaccinated, it would likely include contractor employees that work on site at agencies. In other words, it could affect a million people locally. But it wouldn’t go down easily. One law firm that represents aggrieved federal employees said it expects court challenges. Tully Rinckey attorneys said no federal law prohibits agencies from requiring vaccines. But it could be challenged on several grounds, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, medical and religious accommodations, and collective bargaining agreements. At least one federal mandate is already in place. The Department of Veterans Affairs has ordered all Title 38 medical personnel to get vaccinated.