Court grants national injunction on federal contractor COVID-19 vaccine mandate
The below information is current as of the publication date listed. Because COVID-19 response measures on all fronts are continually evolving, clients should stay alert to new developments and consult with counsel on any critical questions.
On December 7, 2021, a federal judge in Georgia granted a request for injunction that paused the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors. Unlike an earlier case from the District of Kentucky that paused the mandate in only a few states, this recent order is applicable to the entire nation.
The federal contractor mandate, as it is informally referred to, stems from Executive Order 14042, which tasked the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force with identifying measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Pursuant to the Executive Order, the Task Force issued its Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors, which mandated all “covered” contractors, subject to religious and medical exemptions, be vaccinated against COVID-19. The definition of “covered” employee is broad and encompasses all employees who perform work “in connection with” a federal contract, including back-office personnel.
The mandate was challenged in several jurisdictions; however, until recently, no court had issued a nationwide injunction (or pause) on the mandate’s implementation. While the initial lawsuit was brought by the State of Georgia, the national chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC) intervened on behalf of its members. The Honorable R. Stan Baker determined that implementing the federal contractor mandate would require federal contractors “to make decisions which would significantly alter their ability to perform federal contract work which is critical to their operations.”
Although the mandate is now paused, a resolution to this mandate likely depends on future legal proceedings. Additionally, private entities, such as healthcare facilities, senior care facilities, etc., may still include certain vaccine-related requirements in their contracts.
The attorneys at Saxton & Stump are available to answer questions and provide guidance. Our Construction Law team includes chair Ron Pollock, as well as Jeffery Bright and Katy Landis, who are able to collaborate closely with our Labor and Employment Law team as needed.
Stay In Touch
Stay informed with firm updates, legal news, and industry resources.
280 Granite Run Drive, Suite #300
Lancaster, PA 17601
Phone: (717) 556-1000
Fax: (717) 441-3810
4250 Crums Mill Road, Suite #201
Harrisburg, PA 17112
Phone: (717) 216-5505
Fax: (717) 547-1900
100 Deerfield Lane, Suite #240
Malvern, PA 19355
Phone: (484) 328-8500
Fax: (484) 713-5241
151 Meeting Street, Suite #350
Charleston, SC 29401
Phone: (843) 414-5080
Fax: (843) 580-8303