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President Biden’s government-contractor vaccine mandate blocked by nationwide freeze

Following on the heels of a recent ruling that froze President Biden’s government-contractor vaccine mandate in just a few states, the District Court for the Southern District of Georgia has issued a nationwide freeze against that mandate. The mandate would have imposed vaccination requirements on certain federal government contractors and their employees.

This nationwide freeze mirrors another blocking the OSHA rule that would have implemented President Biden’s vaccine mandate for large employers.

Employers are reminded that either or both freezes are part of on-going litigation and could be lifted at any time.

Obama-era Executive Order 13673 (entitled Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces”) repealed

Congress has repealed regulations implementing President Obama’s 2014 Executive Order 13673, titled the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Act, and, as he signed that Congressional Resolution into effect, President Trump signed his own Executive Order repealing President Obama’s Executive Order itself.

This brings an end to Executive Order 13673 in its entirety. The executive order had been highly controversial. On one hand its proponents praised it as a means of protecting civil rights for workers at government contractors; on the other its critics called it unclear, impractical, ineffectual and harmful. Worse for the order, parts were quickly blocked by the courts as an unconstitutional Presidential overreach in violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers and speech principles.

The Executive Order’s now-defunct provisions had included a requirement that government contractors self-disclose labor and employment violations and a prohibition against government contractors entering into mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreements.

Source: House Joint Resolution 37 and Executive Order dated 3/27/18.