Enforcement of Vaccination
Requirement for Employees
What steps may an agency take if a Federal employee refuses to be vaccinated or provide proof of vaccination?
As an initial matter, an agency should provide employees with information regarding the benefits of vaccination and ways to obtain the vaccine. If the individual continues to refuse to be vaccinated or provide proof of vaccination, the agency should pursue disciplinary measures, up to and including removal from Federal service. In pursuing any adverse action, the agency must provide the required procedural rights to an employee and follow normal processes, including any agency policies or collective bargaining agreement requirements concerning disciplinary matters. Employees should not be placed on administrative leave while pursuing an adverse action for refusal to be vaccinated, but will be required to follow safety protocols for employees who are not fully vaccinated when reporting to agency worksites.
An agency should follow a different process if the employee claims a legally required exception as the reason for not being vaccinated or providing proof of vaccination. In that case, an agency should follow its ordinary process to review and consider what, if any, reasonable accommodation it must offer. All agency personnel designated to receive requests for reasonable accommodations should know how to handle requests consistent with any Federal employment nondiscrimination laws that may apply. If the employee’s request for an accommodation is denied, and the employee does not comply with the vaccination requirement, the agency may pursue disciplinary action, up to and including removal from Federal service.
This material is for general information only and should not be considered as a substitute for legal, medical, tax and/or actuarial advice. Contact the appropriate professional counsel for such matters. These materials are not exhaustive and are subject to possible changes in applicable laws, rules, and regulations and their interpretations.