As previously reported, on November 30, a federal judge in Kentucky halted the implementation of the vaccine mandate for federal contractors and subcontractors in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. Now, a federal judge in Georgia has issued a nationwide injunction blocking the vaccine mandate for federal contractors and subcontractors. Unlike the limited injunction issued in Kentucky, the Order issued in Georgia on December 7, 2021, blocks the vaccine mandate countrywide.
The vaccine mandate for federal contractors and subcontractors had most recently required full vaccination by January 18. With this December 7 Order, the January 18 deadline has been put on hold nationwide. The Order also serves as the final federal-level effort to block all of President Biden’s vaccine mandates covering employees other than direct employees of the federal government. The OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) and CMS Interim Final Rule have already been enjoined nationwide.
What does this mean for employers covered by the federal contractor mandate? Covered employers can currently halt their efforts to comply with the implementation of the rule but should be ready to proceed with the requirements of the rule should the injunction be reversed.
Please contact your Varnum attorney, or any member of the firm’s labor and employment practice team, with questions about how this change will affect your workforce.
Throughout COVID-19, Varnum’s Labor and Employment Team has helped employers across the country navigate emergent laws and regulations that impact their workforce and operations, including with respect to vaccination mandates.
On November 9, 2021, Varnum Labor and Employment attorneys presented a one-hour webinar on the most pressing concerns and questions regarding OSHA’s COVID-19 vaccine and testing rules. To request a recording of the webinar and gain access to frequently asked questions and other resources, please click here.
We stand ready to assist you with this new rule and related workplace adjustments. If you have immediate questions, please contact your Varnum attorney.