Current COVID-19 Federal and State Requirements

October 2021


Federal Requirements


  • September 13, 2021: President Biden announced a vaccine mandate requiring ALL employers with 100+ employees ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested
  • OSHA Rulemaking in progress: https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/safework
    • Note: Washington state is not subject to OSHA’s rules. L&I is developing emergency rules based on Biden’s mandate. L&I’s rules will be at least equivalent to or may go beyond the OSHA standard.
  • Deadline for vaccination: No date set yet for private-sector employees.
    All federal employees are required to be vaccinated by November 22, 2021.


State Requirements


The proclamation requires all state employees, higher education, childcare, and K-12 education employees, and most health and long-term care providers to be fully vaccinated with a recommended COVID-19 vaccine by October 18, 2021, as a condition of employment. Employers will need to verify vaccination status of all employees. This does not apply to private-sector employers.

Claims from COVID-19 Vaccine Reactions

Workers may file a claim for reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine, and the claim should be allowed if the vaccination is required by their employer or by government order.

The following are frequently asked questions, and answers about claims related to reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine:


Q: Can a worker file a claim for a reaction after being vaccinated for COVID-19?

A: Yes, a worker may file a claim, but there is no presumption of coverage.
Claims will be allowed for workers who have a reaction to the vaccine when it is required by the employer and/or by government order, rule, or law as a condition of employment. Other claims will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


Q: If a claim is allowed for a reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine, is the worker entitled to time-loss benefits?

A: Yes. However, unlike claims presumptively covered for COVID-19, a worker will not be paid for the first 3 days after the vaccine was administered, unless the worker is medically required to remain off work on the 14th day after the vaccination.


Q: Will a business’s experience rating or premium assessments be affected by the costs of a claim for a reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine?

A: No. The cost of claims allowed for reactions caused by the COVID-19 vaccine will not affect the experience rating of businesses insured by L&I. Self-insured businesses may deduct the costs of these claims from the total claim costs reported for administrative assessment purposes.


Check out the L&I website for other pandemic-related questions and answers.