Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

May 04, 2023

Federal contractor vaccine mandate to end effective May 12, 2023

COVID-19Safety and Health 

On May 1, 2023, the White House announced that the COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccine mandate and related safety protocols for federal contractors will end at 12:01 a.m. on May 12, 2023. This is the same time that the national COVID-19 public health emergency will officially be over. A notice on the Safer Federal Workforce web page for federal contractors states that President Biden will soon issue an executive order confirming that federal contractors are no longer subject to the vaccine mandate or other COVID-19 safety protocols. The announcement doesn’t have much practical significance outside the healthcare industry, since, as we previously reported, the Biden administration hasn’t been enforcing Executive Order 14042 (Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors) due to ongoing litigation.

The White House’s announcement also stated that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will “start the process” to end vaccination requirements for healthcare facilities certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). No date was specified. We previously reported on the CMS vaccine mandate here.

Tips: Interestingly, on April 19, 2023, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the State of Arizona’s challenge to the federal contractor vaccine mandate, saying that the Biden administration acted lawfully in requiring federal contractors’ employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 (Mayes v. Biden, 9th Cir, April 2023). However, the Ninth Circuit’s decision doesn’t impose any new obligations on Arizona employers, because the Biden administration is no longer enforcing the federal contractor vaccine mandate.

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