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Eleventh Circuit Lifts Injunction of Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate, But OMB Holds Off on Enforcement

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued its mandate scaling back a nationwide injunction on the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors, and limiting it to Georgia, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, and members of the national trade association, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). 

Back in late August, the Eleventh Circuit ruled that the nationwide injunction on the federal contractor vaccine mandate was “overbroad” and narrowed the scope of the injunction to apply to the plaintiffs in the case (e.g., states like Georgia, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, and members of ABC). 

The OMB, however, has issued a bulletin today telling agencies not to “take any steps to require covered contractors to come into compliance” with the federal contractor vaccine mandate. The new guidance from OMB says that “federal agency workplace safety protocols for federal buildings and federally controlled facilities still apply in all locations,” and “contractor employees working onsite in those facilities must still follow those federal agency workplace safety protocols.” 

The OMB Director will now review updated task force guidance that includes a timeline to implement the federal contractor vaccine mandate and determine if it “promotes economy and efficiency in federal contracting,” as stated in President Biden’s executive order creating the federal contractor mandate. OMB says that additional guidance will be provided if such a determination is made.

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