On May 1, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (SFWTF) issued an update that the Biden administration plans to end COVID-19 vaccination mandates established under Executive Orders (EO) 14042 on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors and EO 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Continue Reading Safer Federal Workforce Task Force Effectively Halts Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate
On April 19, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a permanent injunction that had enjoined President Biden’s “Contractor Vaccine Mandate,” taking an expansive view of presidential authority under the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act (FPASA). Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Green Lights Contractor Vaccine Mandate
As we have discussed at length on this blog, for more than a year federal courts have repeatedly held that, for various reasons, President Biden lacked the authority to mandate by executive order that government contractors can force their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of contracting with the federal government. Even when the government claimed that the vaccines would prevent people from catching or spreading COVID-19, at which time there was arguably a medical basis for a mandate, it was clear that there was no statutory or constitutional basis for the authority asserted in Executive Order 14042. Continue Reading DOJ’s Quixotic Defense of the Vaccine Mandate May Undermine Presidential Authority
Unbelievably, after the 11th Circuit narrowed the nationwide injunction issued by the Southern District of Georgia on August 30, which took effect when the court issued its mandate on October 18, the government began preparing to enforce the vaccine mandate against contractors not covered by one of the six district court injunctions.
Continue Reading IT’S ALIVE! The Government Contractor Vaccine Mandate, Back for One More Round
I recently provided insight for an article in Law360 on the announcement by the Biden administration to suspend the enforcement of the government contractor vaccine mandate. In August, the Eleventh Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for government contracts but limited the scope of that nationwide injunction to just the plaintiffs. There are currently five other pending challenges to the mandate in different jurisdictions.
Continue Reading Suspension of Government Contractor Vaccine Mandate Enforcement
After we published a post about the Eleventh Circuit’s decision to narrow the scope of the nationwide preliminary injunction of the government contractor vaccine mandate, the government announced that, for the time being, it will not enforce the mandate. The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force added the following statement to its website:
Regarding Applicable Court Orders and Injunctions: To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce Executive Order 14042. For existing contracts or contract-like instruments (hereinafter “contracts”) that contain a clause implementing requirements of Executive Order 14042, the Government will take no action to enforce the clause implementing requirements of Executive Order 14042, absent further written notice from the agency.Continue Reading Government to Withhold Enforcement of the Vaccine Mandate. For Now.
On Friday, August 26, the Eleventh Circuit published the long-awaited decision in the government’s appeal of a nationwide injunction halting the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for government contractors and subcontractors. Although the decision found that the plaintiffs were entitled to an injunction, the Eleventh Circuit also found that the Southern District of Georgia’s injunction, which applied nationwide, was overly broad. The court narrowed the injunction to apply only to the plaintiffs, stating that they need not comply with the vaccine mandate in their capacity as contractors or incorporate it in lower-tier subcontracts. The appellate court left the prohibition against federal agencies considering compliance with the mandate in proposal evaluations, but only to the extent a plaintiff submitted a bid.
Continue Reading The Contractor Vaccine Mandate is Back?
Over the past year, the Biden administration has issued a number of labor and employment executive orders applicable to government contractors. Some of those requirements are updates to Obama-era executive orders, while others are new. Together, these obligations, which include an almost 50% increase to the applicable minimum wage, can have a significant impact on contractors.
For any government contractors that have questions about these labor and employment changes, we hope you can join us for an overview of these recent developments.Continue Reading [WEBINAR] What Was Old is New Again – Government Contractor Labor & Employment Updates
After we published our article last week about the status of the four federal vaccine mandates, we learned that a seventh district court had enjoined the federal contractor COVID-19 vaccine mandate, continuing a remarkable string of losses for the Department of Justice (DOJ) in their attempts to defend President Biden’s Executive Order (EO) 14042. While the District Court for the District of Arizona has not yet finalized all of the details of its injunction that only applies in Arizona (the parties will be briefing that issue over the next week), this is yet another indication that the contractor mandate is unlikely ever to be fully implemented in its current form.
On September 14, the state of Arizona, along with several other entities and individuals, filed suit challenging both the contractor vaccine mandate and the federal employee vaccine mandate ordered in EO 14043. The Order issued on January 27 held the challenge to the federal employee mandate was not yet ripe, but it enjoined the contractor mandate.
As an initial matter, the court agreed with DOJ that the plaintiff challenging the employee mandate did not have standing because he had a medical exemption request pending and was, therefore, not required to be vaccinated or subject to discipline at that time and may never be if the request is granted. Because his alleged injury – have the vaccine or be terminated – may never occur, any opinion issued in response to his claim would be “merely advisory,” and therefore, his claim was unripe. The court similarly held that Arizona did not have standing to challenge the employee mandate because its employees were not subject to it, and the mandate did not infringe on Arizona’s sovereignty.Continue Reading DOJ’s Run of Bad Luck Continues – A Seventh District Court Enjoins the Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate
The vaccine mandates President Biden announced on September 9 have not aged well. Two are enjoined nationwide and a skeptical Supreme Court so undermined one that the government withdrew it, at least for the immediate future. Only one, an interim final rule applicable to employees at healthcare facilities receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds, is still…