Vaccination mandate applies to some construction contractors
August 30, 2021
While the news media has been primarily focused on how the Governor’s vaccination mandate applies to government employees, teachers and health care officials, the mandate also affects on-site contractors. This includes any person engaged to work as an on-site contractor for a state agency, an education facility or a healthcare facility.
All workers covered under the mandate must be vaccinated by Oct. 18, 2021, or lose their jobs.
Which contractors of covered entities are included in the vaccination requirement for employees?
Contractors of covered entities are largely included in the requirement for staff to be fully vaccinated to perform work on the site of the covered entity.
- State agencies: All contractors working onsite at executive cabinet agencies of the state of Washington if the work is required to be performed in-person and onsite, regardless of frequency, whether other workers are present or any contingent nature of that requirement, including indoor or outdoor worksites.
- Medical facilities: Work performed at a “healthcare setting” where patients receiving care are present.
- Educational setting: In places where students or people receiving services are present.
- Workers who are present at a site for only a short period of time and have a fleeting physical presence with others. Examples include contractors delivering supplies by truck to a construction site where they remain physically distanced from others on the site, refuse pickup or a driver for a contracted shipping and delivery service briefly entering a site to pick up parcels for shipping.
- Recipients of funds distributed by an executive cabinet state agency, but where work is performed at a different physical location. Examples include vendors employed by local government who receive state funding, or subrecipients of the state operating independent offices.
- Work performed at a healthcare setting removed from patient care access. Examples include an entire closed wing with no medical services provided at the time of construction.
- Work performed at a school or institution of higher education in a location removed from student instruction or services.
Employer Solutions Law recently shared an update from Associated General Contractors or Western Washington that included the following information.
There are currently no exclusions for construction work for state agencies other than the healthcare and education settings mentioned. The construction industry will be requesting further clarification in that area from Gov. Inslee.
Vaccine Compliance Dates
To meet the “fully vaccinated” status by Oct 18, 2021, an individual would need to receive a vaccine by the following dates:
- Pfizer – First dose by Sept. 13, 2021 second dose by Oct. 4, 2021 (recommended 21 days between shots).
- Moderna – First dose by Sept. 6, 2021, second dose by Oct. 4, 2021 (recommended 28 days between shots).
- Johnson and Johnson Oct.4, 2021. One-shot vaccination.
Employer Responsibility for Vaccine Verification
By Oct.18, 2021, an employer must obtain a copy of or visually observe proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 for every current employee who is subject to the vaccination requirement.
Additionally, an employer must submit to the State Agency, operator of the Educational Setting, or operator of the Health Care Setting a signed declaration in substantially the form prescribed in RCW 5.50.050 declaring that the employer has met all requirements outlined in the proclamation.
It is likely this responsibility will be placed on contractors. As of now, it is not clear how this information will be collected or if a website will be established. However, to verify vaccination status a contractor must obtain a copy of, or visually observe proof of, full vaccination against COVID-19.
- CDC COVID-19 vaccination record card or photo of the card;
- Documentation of vaccination from a healthcare provider or electronic health record;
- State immunization information-system record; or
- For an individual vaccinated outside of the US: a reasonable equivalent of any of the above.
Please note, employee self-attestation will NOT suffice.
For more information, please see Section 4 of the proclamation: Election to Require Employers of Contractors to Assume Responsibility for Vaccination Verification and Accommodation Requirements a. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary.