Court Blocks Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors in Three States

Last Updated on December 3, 2021

On Nov. 30, 2021, a 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.

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 but applies only to Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

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 in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee only. Federal contractors in other jurisdictions must continue their preparations to comply with the mandate. Federal contractors in all jurisdictions are urged to continue monitoring this development in case similar action is taken in additional jurisdictions.