Court Upholds Vaccine Mandate for Some Federal Contractors
An appeals court has cleared the way for the Biden administration to enforce the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate on some federal contractors.
This update adds another layer to the confusing patchwork of injunctions that are still in effect throughout the U.S.
The federal mandate for federal contractors has been on hold since December 2021, when a federal judge in Georgia blocked the administration from enforcing the mandate for federal contractors.
A three-judge 11th Circuit Court of Appeals panel in Atlanta upheld the injunction for only the specific plaintiffs named in that case.
Those plaintiffs are: the states of Georgia, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, those states’ agencies, and members of the Associated Builders and Contractors trade association.
“The district court appropriately determined that the plaintiffs are entitled to a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of the contractor vaccine mandate,” the majority ruling said.
“But the scope of that injunction—extending nationwide and without distinction to plaintiffs and nonparties alike—was overbroad.”
This means that, in federal contracts with these plaintiffs, the contracts may not include a vaccine mandate.
The 11th Circuit lifted the injunction that had applied nationwide, with the result that—at least in theory—Connecticut businesses will again be subject to the federal contractor vaccine mandate.
The Biden administration has not yet responded to this development, so we don’t know if it will in fact begin enforcing the mandate again.
In light of the CDC’s new COVID-19 guidelines, and a significant decrease in COVID fatalities, the administration may decide not to enforce it.
CBIA recommends that Connecticut employers wait for further guidance from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force before implementing any new policies that are based on the federal contractor vaccine mandate.
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