Court Halts Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate in Three States

On November 30, a federal judge granted a temporary halt to the federal contractor vaccine mandate for covered contracts in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. This preliminary injunction is not a final determination on the merits of the case, but merely the beginning of the court case that will impact federal contractors and subcontractors only in these three states. This ruling has no impact on the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard for companies with 100 or more employees. Despite the limited scope of this injunction, at least one federal agency has announced it will halt enforcing the vaccine mandate in those states. It is important to note that this move does not prevent owners and employers from imposing their respective vaccination requirements, and federal contractors should continue to comply with contract obligations and consult with legal counsel before changing any policies in response to this limited pause. AGC and its members have strongly encouraged voluntary COVID-19 vaccination for their employees since the vaccines became available.

The construction industry has proven throughout the pandemic that it can work in a safe and essential manner. AGC has retained outside legal counsel—and is asking some of the brightest legal minds within the industry—to help it review its legal options regarding the federal contractor mandate.

On November 4, the White House announced that the deadline for direct federal contractors to have their employees fully vaccinated will be the same as the new OSHA ETS, covered contractor employees must be fully vaccinated no later than January 18, 2022. Previously, the deadline for direct federal contractors was December 8, 2021. AGC has provided helpful resources on AGC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit, including WebEd and Memo for federal construction contractors.

For more information, contact Jordan Howard at or (703) 837-5368.