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New Jersey Requiring State Contractors to Mandate Vaccination

According to the newly signed executive order from Governor Phil Murphy, all state contractors and subcontractors are now required to have covered individuals provide sufficient evidence of being fully vaccinated or undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing at minimum one to two times weekly.

Effective October 20, 2021, Executive Order No. 271 (EO 271 or Order) was signed into law that any new state contracts, solicitations for contracts, extensions or renewals of existing contracts, and options on existing contracts moving forward must include a passage mandating that the company implement a vaccine-or-testing policy for any employees who enter, work at, or provide services located within a state agency. The order will apply if the contract relates to services, construction, including demolition, remediation, removal of hazardous substances, alteration, custom fabrication, repair work, or maintenance work, or a leasehold interest in real property through which covered workers have access to state property, and the cost or contract price thereof is to be paid, in whole or in part, with or out of executive department or agency funds. However, the Order is specific in exempting the following from coverage:

  • Contracts solely for the provision of goods.
  • Financial assistance contracts including:
    • Grants
    • Bonds
    • Loans
    • Tax credits
  • Contracts or subcontracts whose value is less than the state bid advertising threshold.
  • Employees who perform work outside of New Jersey.

According to EO 271, covered workers may demonstrate proof of full vaccination status by presenting the following documents to the covered contractor if they list COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for EUA in the United States and/or the World Health Organization (“WHO”), along with an administration date for each dose:

  • The CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Card issued to the vaccine recipient by the vaccination site, or an electronic or physical copy of the same;
  • Official record from the New Jersey Immunization Information System (NJIIS) or other State Immunization Registry;
  • A record from a health care provider’s portal/medical record system on official letterhead signed by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, registered nurse, or pharmacist;
  • A military immunization or health record from the United States Armed Forces; or
  • Docket mobile phone application record or any state specific application that produces digital health record.

Those workers who are unable to produce one of the above-mentioned documents of certification of COVID-19 vaccination status would be required to undergo screening testing at a minimum of one to two times per week. To further comply with the Order, covered contractors must have a policy for tracking test results from testing and results must be reported to local public health departments.

Next Steps

With this Order’s immediate effective date, state contractors and subcontractors should immediately prepare to comply by implementing a policy for vaccination and testing of workers, a procedure to comply with all federal and state laws that regulate the collection and storage of vaccination information as well as establish or maintain a policy for tracking test results for reporting to local public health departments, as needed.

HR Works, Inc., headquartered in Upsate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.