Yesterday, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia issued a nationwide injunction against the enforcement of Executive Order (EO) 14042’s mandate that had ordered federal contractors and subcontractors to require COVID-19 vaccine for most of their employees.
This lawsuit commenced on October 29, 2021 and the original plaintiffs, seven states, governors, and agencies sought injunctive relief shortly thereafter. Later, the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC), a national membership and with its members having been awarded 57% of federal contracts between 2009 and 2020, sought permission to intervene in the case.
The Court concluded that ABC was entitled to intervene and concluded that absent a nationwide ban on the mandate that a limited order would be confusing and unwieldy, especially for ABC’s national members.
The Court concluded that the Executive Order 14042 is likely beyond the scope of authority issued by Congress under the Procurement Act, but left constitutional challenges to the EO undecided. An appeal will likely follow to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Employers who are federal contractors and subcontractors and were in the process of meeting the dates for compliance with EO 14042 are relieved from that obligation. Such employers, therefore, should consult with their favorite CDF lawyer about the status of any COVID-19 vaccine policies that they have implemented in light of EO 14042 and next steps that they may wish to consider.