Georgia Federal District Court Halts Enforcement of Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate
On December 7, 2021, a federal district court in Georgia enjoined enforcement of Executive Order 14042 (EO 14042), which requires that federal contractors and subcontractors performing work on certain federal contracts ensure that employees working on or in connection with those contracts are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Notably, the Court’s injunction applies nationwide. In entering the injunction, the Court found that President Biden lacked the required statutory authority needed to implement EO 14042. The Court’s Order comes nearly a month after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals enjoined the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”), which would have required employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that their employees were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. (See Vedder Price bulletin.) The consolidated actions against the ETS will be heard in the coming weeks by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Employers are advised to consult with legal counsel regarding the impact of the federal court’s decision concerning EO 14042 and the ETS action pending in the Sixth Circuit.