New Executive Order Rescinds Contractor Vaccine Mandate
By Sally Weldin, Sr. Human Resource Specialist
Published May 23, 2023
On May 12, 2023, President Biden signed Executive Order 14099. This action rescinds Executive Order 14042, which required certain organizations contracting with the federal government to follow COVID-19 safety protocols, including employee vaccination. Also, effective May 12, 2023, all guidance issued by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force implementing Executive Order 14042 has been revoked. The revocation is in step with the expiration of the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 on May 11, 2023.
The federal government and its agencies will not enforce any existing contract clauses or any Safer Task Force guidance implementing Executive Order 14042.
Back in September 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order 14042, Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors. Among the requirements was that employees of federal contractors/subcontractors ("contractors") be fully vaccinated by January 18, 2022.
The Executive Order was quickly challenged by multiple lawsuits on the grounds of presidential overreach. A Georgia federal district court issued a nationwide injunction against the mandate. Recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers many western states, in opposition to many other circuits, ruled President Biden has the authority to require a vaccine, and reversed the injunction. The new Executive Order 14099 rescinding Executive Order 14042 makes this decision a moot point for contractors as far as the vaccine and safety requirements.
While the new Executive Order officially ends the COVID-19 protocols for federal contractors, there could be some state and local safety requirements that remain. Likewise, workplaces may still make the decision to keep COVID-19 safety protocols and policies in place regarding quarantine, testing, and vaccination.
Questions on the new Executive Order? Contact our EEO & Compliance Solutions Department at 800-448-4584 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.