On Dec. 7, 2021, a Georgia federal judge blocked the federal contractors mandate nationwide. This new order comes right after a Kentucky federal judge issued a preliminary injunction effectively blocking the implementation and enforcement of President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal government contractors and subcontractors for Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio on Nov. 30, 2021.
Federal Contractor Vaccination Mandate – On Nov. 10, 2021, the Biden administration updated its guidance for the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, clarifying that federal contractor employees must be fully vaccinated by Jan. 18, 2022. This update was released in conjunction with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) vaccine mandate for private employers and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) vaccine mandate for health care workers, both of which have also since been blocked in federal court.
Preliminary Injunction – The injunction is effective immediately and applies nationwide. The order specifically states that the case in question is not about whether the government can require citizens to obtain vaccines. Rather, the court’s opinion is that the Biden administration likely exceeded its authority to manage the federal procurement of goods and services when it imposed the vaccination requirement on federal contractors and subcontractor employees.
Impact on Employers – The injunction impacts federal contractors and subcontractors nationwide. However, federal contractors should continue monitoring this development to learn how court decisions ultimately affect their compliance obligations.
Contact us with any questions related to COVID-19 strategies and compliance issues for your workplace.