Thursday, June 10, 2021: Federal Agencies Plan to Return to Work at Their Brick & Mortar Offices
In a 20-page Memo to the Executive Heads of Federal Agencies, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) mapped out its plans for “re-entry” into the workspaces of both civilian employees and employees of federal government contractors working in federal buildings and on federal lands.
All Federal agencies, including the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), must complete a written plan by June 18, 2021 and submit it to OMB for review and adoption before re-entry to federal offices begins in earnest not later than July 19, 2021. These plans must include how and when to return an increased number of employees and contractors to their office locations along with the intended post-re-entry personnel policies and work environment.
In its Memorandum, among many other things, OMB strongly encouraged all federal civilian employees to get COVID-19 vaccinations, but will not require vaccination. To this end, federal employees will receive paid time off to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and manage any side effects. At present, vaccination “should generally not be a precondition for employees or contractors at agencies to work in-person in Federal buildings, on Federal lands, and in other settings as required by their job duties.” In addition, Federal employees and contractors may voluntarily share information about their vaccination status, but agencies “should not require Federal employees or contractors to disclose such information.”
OMB’s Memo also invites each agency to consider plans for “telework,” in light of the agency’s experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.