On Tuesday, Lumen Technologies, formerly known as CenturyLink, sent an email to employees telling them that “as a condition of employment,” they will have to be fully vaccinated by December 8, given the company’s status as a federal contractor.
In the email, the company noted that they “have worked hard to avoid vaccine requirements,” but because they are a federal contractor, they must abide by the Biden administration’s “far-reaching” mandate.
“As you know, we have strongly encouraged COVID-19 vaccinations since they became available but have equally resisted vaccine requirements,” the email stated. “Based on government regulations, our status as a federal contractor and our support of our customers — many of which are also federal contractors — we must now comply with presidential orders to require vaccines within Lumen.”
“We have tried to avoid this action and preferred to encourage voluntary vaccination, but the rules and regulations are clear, and complying is the only business decision we can make,” the email continued.
After encouraging employees to continue reading with an open mind before making any job decision and noting that the company greatly values its employees, Lumen stated that the only possible exceptions to the mandate would be “a sincerely held religious belief or medical condition.”
The email added that even “work-from-home employees” who work “directly [or] indirectly with covered federal contracts” are subject to the mandate and that it is “a condition of employment.”
The Daily Wire reached out to Lumen for comment, but as of this reporting, they have not responded.
On September 9, the White House issued executive orders regarding vaccination requirements for all federal workers, as well as for federal contractors:
… in light of the public health guidance regarding the most effective and necessary defenses against COVID-19, I have determined that to promote the health and safety of the Federal workforce and the efficiency of the civil service, it is necessary to require COVID-19 vaccination for all Federal employees, subject to such exceptions as required by law.
As for contractors, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force later detailed: “Covered contractors must ensure that all covered contractor employees are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless the employee is legally entitled to an accommodation. Covered contractor employees must be fully vaccinated no later than December 8, 2021.”
However, during a Wednesday press briefing, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients stated that the December 8 deadline has some flexibility:
But even once we hit those deadlines, we expect federal agencies and contractors will follow their standard HR processes and that, for any of the probably relatively small percent of employees that are not in compliance, they’ll go through education, counseling, accommodations, and then enforcement.
So, these processes play out across weeks, not days. And so, to be clear, we’re creating flexibility within the system. We’re offering people multiple opportunities to get vaccinated. There is not a cliff here. And the purpose, I think, most importantly, is to get people vaccinated and protected, not to punish them.