Federal court blocks vaccination mandate for federal contractors in Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee
A United States District Court Judge in Kentucky issued a decision on November 30, 2021, temporarily blocking the enforcement of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement for federal contractors and subcontractors on all covered contracts in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. A copy of the decision can be found here.
The question presented to the court was a narrow one: Can the president use congressionally delegated authority to manage the federal procurement of goods and services to impose vaccines on the employees of federal contractors and subcontractors? The court held that, in all likelihood, the answer to that question is no. As such, the court granted the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction and has prohibited the government from enforcing the vaccination mandate for federal contractors and subcontractors in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. This order will remain in effect until either the trial court renders a decision on the merits of the case or when the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals weighs in after the government appeals the decision.
This decision affects all new covered contracts as described in FAR 52.223-99, as well as existing or ongoing contracts where the government is requesting bilateral modifications to incorporate FAR 52.223-99 and related protocols mandating COVID-19 vaccination of people employed by federal contractors and subcontractors as a no cost change order. Contact one of our experienced construction and federal government contracting attorneys below if you have additional questions as to how this decision affects your business.