A nationwide injunction on the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors has been officially lifted, but the federal government told agencies to hold off on enforcing the mandate.
In late August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled that the nationwide injunction on the vaccine mandate was “overbroad” and narrowed the scope of it to apply to the plaintiffs in the case (Georgia, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, and members of the national trade association, Associated Builders and Contractors.) Now the court has issued its mandate, which is an official notice and command to carry out its ruling.
“Despite the lifting of the nationwide bar to enforcement on October 18, 2022, at this time agencies should not: take any steps to require covered contractors and subcontractors to come into compliance with previously issued task force guidance; or enforce any contract clauses implementing Executive Order 14042,” said a Wednesday update from the Office of Management and Budget and Safer Federal Workforce Task Force. “To allow time to develop advice and processes for meeting agencies’ obligations under Executive Order 14042 and applicable court orders, agencies should follow the instructions provided in the OMB guidance here.”
At this time, agencies should not enforce contract clauses implementing the mandate; modify contracts to insert a clause on the mandate; or include a clause on the mandate in solicitations for new orders.