New Urgent Push from Federal Government to Increase Vaccination Rates/DC Reinstates Mask Mandate

Yesterday, the Biden Administration announced new urgent plans to increase vaccination rates. 

Of particular note to employers:

  • Every federal government employee and onsite contractor will be asked to attest to their vaccination status.  If not fully vaccinated, employees and contractors will be required to wear a mask on the job, physically distance from all other employees and visitors, comply with a weekly or twice-weekly screening testing requirement, and be subject to restrictions on official travel.
  • The Administration is encouraging private sector employers to follow this strong model.
  • Small and medium-sized businesses will now be reimbursed for offering employees paid leave to get their family members, including kids, vaccinated.  Under ARPA, this reimbursement was already offered for workers – the program is now being expanded to include reimbursement to get eligible kids vaccinated.  The President is encouraging all employers to offer this leave.

 For more detail see the White House press release.

We are closely monitoring this development, as well as the decision by DC to reinstate the indoor mask mandate regardless of vaccination status, the VA decision to encourage (but not mandate… yet) indoor mask-wearing, and all other COVID and vaccine-related issues.

If you have any questions about this Alert, please reach out to one of the attorneys in the Employment Law Group and JOIN US for our upcoming free webinar: 

A Conversation with Merry Campbell-  What We Know Today: the Latest on COVID, Masks, Vaccines and the Return to Work

DATE: Thursday, August 5, 2021

TIME: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM


Merry will lead a discussion and address many of the pressing issues facing employers today, including:

  • Vaccines
    • Can/should you require vaccination
    • What incentives can you offer to encourage a vaccine even if you choose not to require
  • Return to work
    • What to worry about—screening protocol, workers compensation and OSHA liability
    • Is the government still providing paid leave following exposure
    • What are the rules on quarantine in a post-vaccination world
  • What else should we be worried about?
    • Union campaigns
    • Parents of school-aged children
    • Travel

Once registered, attendees will receive information about how to log in to the webinar. The presentation will be recorded and is being offered as a free service to clients and prospective clients of Shulman Rogers. In keeping with our ethical obligations, no legal advice will be given on the call.


Meredith S. Campbell
Chair Employment and Labor Group
Co-Chair Corporate Investigations, Governance & Risk Management

Email [email protected] T(301)255-0550