Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate: Federal Appeals Court Says Its Unlawful But You Might Have to Comply Anyway

The Dorsey Health Law blog team keeps readers up-to-date on relevant topics in the health care industry. In order to do so, the members of the blog team communicate regularly with other practice groups within the firm for applicable updates from client publications. For this post, we would like to thank Dorsey’s Alex Hontos, Katie Ervin Carlson, and Jillian Kornblatt for the following publication:

Lately, litigation news related to public and private workplace COVID-19 vaccine mandates has quieted.  That changed last Friday, when the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals narrowed a nationwide injunction against the Biden Administration’s federal contractor vaccination mandate (the “GovCon Vax Mandate”).  Because the Court concluded that the GovCon Vax Mandate was likely an unlawful exercise of authority, it kept in place a lower court preliminary injunction against enforcement of the mandate.  But, the decision reversed the lower court’s nationwide injunction, substantially narrowing the injunction’s affect.  That means federal contractors that were not parties to the Eleventh Circuit litigation are potentially subject to the GovCon Vax Mandate.  For those contractors, the focus now turns back to the federal government—and whether the Biden Administration will start to enforce the mandate piecemeal.  The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force issued the GovCon Vax Mandate.  As of this eUpdate, the Task Force’s website still indicates that, in light of various court orders and preliminary injunctions, the Government will take no action to enforce the GovCon Vax Mandate.  Whether that will change in light of the Eleventh Circuit’s decision remains unknown, creating significant operational uncertainty for organizations with federal contracts or subcontracts.

Read more here.

Alex Hontos

Alex is accomplished in Federal procurement law and government contracting, including the Federal Acquisition Regulations and the Contract Disputes Act; Federal civil-fraud provisions, including the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Act; and the specialized rules that govern claims against the United States, including bid protests.

Katie Ervin Carlson

Katie helps employers make day-to-day decisions that are legally sound and that reduce the potential of future liability.

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