The United States Office of Personal Management (OPM) announced that Tuesday, November 9th is the first day that federal employees are subject to disciplinary actions for not receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. Disciplinary actions can be, up to and including removal or termination from federal service. The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force has issued guidance for agencies implementing the vaccine requirement per Executive Order (EO) 14043, which requires federal employees to be fully vaccinated by November 22nd.
An employee can submit a reasonable accommodation request to their agency if they are unable to take the vaccine based on a medical condition or because of a sincerely held belief that is based on a traditional religion or held in the same regard as a traditional religious belief or practice. The Task Force provided templates for medical and religious accommodation requests which employees can complete and submit to their agencies. Employees should be prepared to provide supporting documentation and/or details regarding the request if required during a review of the accommodation request from their agency. Those granted accommodations will then be required to follow testing protocols from their agency, applicable masking requirements, physical distancing, and applicable travel guidance.
Federal employees seeking advice with their accommodation process or find themselves facing a proposed disciplinary action can reach out to Tully Rinckey PLLC by calling (518) 218-1700 and requesting a consultation with one of their attorneys.