Federal government now forbids enforcing the vaccination mandate against federal contractors and subcontractors nationwide | Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Please Note: The following information may need to be updated, including additional clarifications, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve.

It’s another week and there’s another verdict on vaccine mandates. This week the Southern District of Georgia took over the baton from the Eastern District of Kentucky, which a few days ago prohibited the US government from enforcing the vaccine mandate against state contractors and subcontractors in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee (which we are discussing here). , and applied the injunction nationwide. Federal contractors and subcontractors who spent the fall reviewing the ever-evolving guidelines of Task Force Safer Federal Workforce to Implement President Biden’s Ordinance 14042 to Ensure Adequate COVID Security Protocols for Federal Contractors (summarized here) can now Take a breather from the government that issued the vaccination contract against you or your subcontractor.

The focus of the decision on the nationwide order is the power of the President under the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act. The President specifically relied on such a law to give his authority to enact Executive Order 14042 “to promote procurement economy and efficiency by contracting with a source who has adequate COVID-19 protective measures for.” their employees ”. However, the Southern District of Georgia noted that “The direct effects of EO 14042 go beyond the administration and management of procurement and contracting; in its practical application (with a significant number of people across the country working in a wide range of positions and in many different industries implying vaccination or the serious risk of job loss) it is a regulation of the public Health. ”The court found that such regulation of public health is not permitted under the Federal Law on Property and Administrative Services. The Court found that after the injunction, contractors are still free to encourage their employees to vaccinate and that employees are still free to be vaccinated.

Following the Eastern District of Kentucky injunction, our customers have already seen the willingness of prime contractors not to regulate the vaccination mandate clause and have heard that the authorities are not enforcing the vaccination mandate. With this new injunction, we expect a wider application of this willingness to move forward without the required contractual clause.

However, we expect the government to either seek reconsideration (as it did in the Kentucky ruling) or appeal both injunctions, which may invalidate the current pardon. For now, government contractors and subcontractors have received an early vacation gift that may be subject to a return policy if invoked.

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