AGC Update - Governor's Vaccine Mandate
I am sure most of you have heard the Governor’s Proclamation
today regarding the vaccine mandate for all state employees. While we are still waiting to see a copy of the full proclamation, it is important to note that this mandate does apply to all employees, contractors, subs and suppliers that work on or have access to state worksites.
Following a conversation with WSDOT this afternoon, we have a few answers for you, but there are still a lot of questions we will need to get answered in the next few days. We will continue to share information as we get it.
Here is what we do know:
- This applies to all state cabinet level departments, including WSDOT. At this time, K-12, Higher Ed and DNR are exempt from this requirement, but would not be surprised if we see similar mandates from these departments in the near future.
- Local governments are not currently affected by this, but you may see some municipalities pass similar mandates soon. King County and the City of Seattle have already done so.
- Employees must be fully vaccinated by October 18th, which means they must receive their final shot by October 4th to allow for the 2 weeks time for full vaccination. Simply beginning the process will not be accepted – following October 18th, unvaccinated employees will not be allowed on a jobsite.
- At this time, it does not appear that off-site employees that are working on a state project are subject to the mandate (consultants that do not visit the site, office staff, batch plant operators, etc.) However, any employee that enters the jobsite will require vaccination, even if they never leave their vehicle (truck drivers).
- There will be exemptions for medical and religious reasons, but the manner to get those exemptions approved is still unclear.
- The method for verifying status for this mandate is also still unclear. While many of you have relied on self attestations up to this point, it appears they will require a more stringent method for verification moving forward.
One of the main concerns that we shared with WSDOT is the impact this mandate will have on an already struggling workforce and the impact that will have on project schedules. I know many of you will have employees that will choose not to work on state projects if vaccination is required. It is also certain that state agencies will lose employees over this issue, so project delays all around are going to be the norm moving forward.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions if you are not able to attend the meeting tomorrow.