Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate Update

On Hold Until April, AGC Communicates with Agencies

The federal contractor vaccine mandate remains on hold since the December 17, 2021, decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to maintain a nationwide stay (or freeze) of the mandate until—potentially—as late as April 2022. During the week of January 10, AGC had direct discussions with major construction federal agencies and key regulators. Guidance has been issued on ensuring federal compliance with court orders and injunctions, meaning that contractors should expect no federal action to enforce the contract clause implementing the requirement that federal contractors and subcontractors be vaccinated. 

The coming months will see continued litigation, as the Biden Administration argues against the court ordered pause. The Eleventh Circuit denied an Administration request to immediately remove the nationwide stay and instead requested that the parties to the lawsuit fully brief their arguments on the stay by February 22. Oral argument on the briefing has been tentatively scheduled for the week of April 4, 2022. As a result, it appears as though the Eleventh Circuit may not issue a decision on the stay of the federal contractor vaccine mandate until as late as April.

The Biden Administration, consequently, will have to further push back implementation of this federal mandate. The argument here does not go to the merits of the mandate, but instead as to whether the existing freeze of the mandate should be maintained or not. As such, litigation is far from over in this particular case and those throughout the country, which includes an AGC of America lawsuit filed in a federal court in Texas and backed by the Construction Advocacy Fund.

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