What Federal Contractors Need to Know about the Vaccine Mandate Status, Business Alabama
Mike Rich authored the February 2, 2022 article for Business Alabama providing an update on what federal contractors need to know about the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors as it continues its way through courts around the country.
“Alabama has a strong government contracting community – from Redstone Arsenal to Mobile, Fort Rucker to Anniston – there are ample opportunities to bid on federal work, and any number of companies do it,” Rich said.
“One area of concern for contractors has been the federal contractor vaccine mandate – a mandate a federal court in Georgia recently blocked nationwide.”
While the appeals process is underway related to the 11th Circuit’s preliminary injunction barring the enforcement of the mandate, Rich shared insight on what federal contractors and subcontractors to a federal contractor should be tracking.
As of the time of publication, the federal government cannot enforce the mandate for prime federal contractors, although they can continue to abide by the terms insofar as they are not violating conflicting state or local laws. However, the ruling is only a preliminary injunction, so things could change once the Northern District of Georgia can hold a trial on the matter.
“A best practice would be to continue putting infrastructure in place to comply in case the 11th Circuit decides to dissolve the preliminary injunction, even if you do not require that all employees get vaccinated,” Rich said. “Such steps would be drafting compliant vaccination policies, developing religious and health accommodation policies, and reviewing progressive discipline policies.”
Things are less clear for subcontractors subject to a mandatory flowdown of the mandate. Because the subcontractors’ contracts are with the prime contractor, they should contact the prime contractor’s contract manager for clarification on their position on enforcement.
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