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Upcoming Panel Discussion | Federal Vaccine Mandate Updates (11-8-2021)

Updated: Nov 12, 2021

Federal vaccine mandate requirements for employers continue to evolve. A new vaccine deadline and two new rules have been unofficially released today, November 4, 2021, in support of continuing efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The White House Administration released a statement this morning announcing that the deadline for employees to receive their final vaccination dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or single dose of Johnson & Johnson is January 4, 2022. The deadline applies to (1) federal contractors and (2) employees subject to the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) and the Centers of Medical Center and Service (CMS) rules. This will provide extra time for federal contractors to comply with the vaccine mandate as the original deadline was December 8, 2021. Notably, the White House previously implemented an Executive Order requiring all federal employees to be fully vaccinated by November 22, 2021. The date for this mandate was not extended.

First, the OSHA ETS which is set to be effective November 5, 2021,1 requires covered employers to develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 policy. However, if employers choose not to develop a mandatory policy, they must adopt a policy requiring employees to have the option to be vaccinated or undergo regular weekly testing for COVID-19 and wear an appropriate face covering at work. The rule will cover employers with 100 or more employees.2 Further, if the number of employees fluctuates during any time the ETS is effective, the employer will still be required to comply with the ETS. Employers who violate the ETS may face fines of up to $13,653 per violation for serious violations and ten times that for willful or repeated violations (up to $136,532). OSHA inspectors will respond to employee complaints and add COVID-related inspections to their on-site inspections.

Second, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), also released a rule which is effective on November 5, 2021. The rule requires that employees who work in a facility that participates in Medicare and Medicaid programs must be vaccinated. Some of the Medicare and Medicaid-certified provider and supplier settings are: (1) Ambulatory Surgery Centers; (2) Community Mental Health Centers; (3) Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facilities; (4) Critical Access Hospitals; (5) End-Stage Renal Disease Facilities; (6) Home Health Agencies, (7) Hospitals, (8) Hospices, (9) Clinics and various other types of related entities. This policy is an effort to protect healthcare workers who have a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19. The CMS requirements will apply to approximately 76,000 providers, covering over 17 million healthcare workers across the United States.

Both OSHA and CMS state that these rules expressly preempt state and local laws that ban or limit an employer from requiring vaccination, face-covering, or testing.

This panel discussion will be presented over Zoom. Once we've processed your registration we will email you the Zoom link with instructions on how to participate.

Date & Time:

Monday, November 8, 2021

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Location: This panel discussion will be presented over Zoom. A link to the discussion will be sent to all registered attendees prior to the event.

Cost: $15.00

RSVP: Register for this panel discussion through Eventbrite by clicking here.


If you are not sure whether you are subject to the OSHA ETS or CMS rule or if you need help developing a vaccination policy, please contact us at 501-371-9999 or email one of our attorneys (

[1] Employers must ensure that the ETS provisions have been addressed in the workplace within 30 days after publication, with the exception of testing employees who have not received their vaccines (60 days).

[2] The 100-employee threshold coverage is calculated based on the total number of employees in all locations. It is not based on an individual level.

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