US Federal Agencies to Start Enforcing Biden Vaccine Mandate in November
23:50 GMT 01.10.2021 (Updated: 13:24 GMT 06.08.2022)
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in a memorandum on Friday urged the heads of the federal departments and agencies to start enforcing President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal employees starting on November 9.
“Agencies may initiate the enforcement process as soon as November 9, 2021, for employees who have not completed their vaccination dose(s) by November 8,” OPM Director Kiran Ahuja said in the memorandum.
The enforcement implies that employees who refuse to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus or provide proof of vaccination can be subjected to various disciplinary measures, including removal or termination from federal service, the memorandum said.
A guidance issued by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force in fulfillment of Biden’s vaccine mandate specifies that all federal employees need to be fully vaccinated no later than November 22.
“If an employee receives a direct order to receive a vaccine as required under EO 14043 [Biden’s executive order to mandate vaccinations] and refuses, this is an act of misconduct,” an enforcement guidance attached to the memorandum said.
28 September 2021, 17:43 GMT
On September 9, Biden signed an executive order to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States that includes mandating vaccines for federal government employees and contractors and calls on state governors to mandate vaccines for teachers as well as to expand testing accessibility.
Before the mandate, federal government employees were only required to either get vaccinated or face restrictions such as suspended work travel, testing and social distancing while at the office.