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Biz ‘Bites:’ Update: federal contractors to enforce their own vaccination exemptions

Federal contractors to enforce their own vaccination exemptions

On Nov. 4, the federal government pushed back the deadline for the federal COVID-19 vaccination requirement for federal contractors to Jan. 4, 2022, which is now the same as that for employers of more than 100 people.

The emerging rules on the vaccination mandate for businesses with federal contractors just got more and more confusing. Here is a new twist: the federal government is going to leave it up to the businesses themselves to determine whether claims for vaccination exemptions on religious for medical conditions are legitimate. In a soundbite: the employer must do all its own enforcement on vaccination exemptions. This leaves every affected employer with the task of making up its own rules on its own dime on its own time.

Employees can apply for the two exemption categories. Medical conditions are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Religious beliefs are protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. No major religious organization in the United States has banned its members from taking any of the COVID-19 vaccines.

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