29 August 2022

Eleventh Circuit Partially Lifts Injunction On Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate

On August 26, a federal appeals court in Georgia struck down the nationwide injunction of the federal contractor vaccine mandate, narrowing the injunction to only the parties in the case—seven states and the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), a construction industry trade group.  (The nationwide injunction had been previously set in place by a lower court in December.)  At the same time, the appeals court agreed that the mandate likely exceeds the Biden administration’s authority.

With the nationwide injunction now lifted, the multiple other court cases across the country challenging the contractor mandate become much more relevant, especially if one of them reaches the Supreme Court.

Separate injunctions against the mandate issued by other federal courts remain in place despite the Georgia court’s ruling.  These injunctions impact enforcement of the mandate in various states, including Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming.

As of the publication of this alert, the federal government’s Safer Federal Workforce Task Force—responsible for implementing the contractor mandate—has not updated its guidance or taken a position on future enforcement as a result of the Georgia court’s ruling.  Furthermore, the Task Force website still identifies all fifty states as areas where the government will take no action to enforce the mandate.

Stay tuned for additional guidance as this issue continues to develop.  If you have any questions, please contact your Miller Johnson attorney or one of the authors.