Feds officially end vax requirement for contractors

You may have forgotten this was even “a thing.”  

Remember back in 2021 when President Biden issued Executive Order 14042, which required many federal contractors to ensure that employees working on federal contracts had COVID-19 vaccinations? And remember all those court challenges effectively rendering the Executive Order and the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force's guidance moot? And then the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit lifted the nationwide injunction, but the Task Force still did nothing to implement the vaccination requirements.

Yeah, I had blocked that out almost forgotten about that, too.

Now contractors can finally and officially close the chapter on Executive Order 14042 and the federally-mandated vaccination requirements for their employees. 

The Task Force has posted the following notice:

On May 1, 2023, the Biden Administration announced its plans to end certain Federal COVID-19 vaccination requirements, including those for Federal employees and Federal contractors, at the end of the day on May 11. In the coming days, President Biden will be issuing an Executive Order rescinding the vaccination requirement for Federal employees and COVID-19 safety protocols for Federal contractors, effective at 12:01 am on May 12, 2023.

In the interim, agencies should continue to take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees to ensure compliance with the applicable preliminary nationwide injunction.

Similarly, with respect to Executive Order 14042 on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors, agencies should not take any steps to require covered contractors and subcontractors to come into compliance with previously issued Safer Federal Task Force guidance, or enforce any contract clauses implementing Executive Order 14042.

The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force will issue further guidance following an Executive Order.

Based on this announcement, it is not clear why any further “guidance” would be necessary, but we will update readers if it’s newsworthy.  

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