Biden’s vaccination mandates for federal contractors and healthcare workers suspended | Ballard Spahr srl

The Biden administration’s action plan to overcome the pandemic suffered major setbacks this week as courts across the country suspended the administration’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies for entrepreneurs and under – federal contractors and health care workers.

Specifically, on September 24, 2021, the Biden administration issued guidelines to supplement a previously issued executive order, in effect requiring that employees of covered contractors (including prime contractors or sub-contractors) be fully immunized from here Dec. 8, 2021. Three states — Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee — have sued the Biden administration to ban the settlement. Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove, of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, granted the injunction, ruling that although Congress used its power to delegate purchasing power to the president to promote the economy and efficiency of federal contracts, the limits of this power were exceeded. Justice Tatenhove limited the injunction to only three complainant states.

Additionally, on November 5, 2021, the Biden administration announced that many types of healthcare facilities and providers who receive Medicare or Medicaid funds must ensure that their staff, contractors, and volunteers are fully vaccinated by Jan. 4, 2022. This interim emergency final rule, issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS), was ordered by two federal judges. Judge Matthew T. Schelp of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri ruled that a preliminary injunction was warranted because he believed the plaintiffs’ argument that CMS did not have the power to implement the requirement was well founded, and because the CMS immunization mandate was likely arbitrary or capricious. The notice temporarily blocks the application of the regulation in the ten states that brought the case, including: Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Dakota of North, South Dakota and Wyoming. Likewise, Judge Terry Doughty, of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, ruling on a challenge to the rule brought by fourteen other states, also granted an injunction of the rule, writing that ‘ there “is no question that requiring a vaccine for 10.3 million healthcare workers is something that should be done by Congress, not by a government agency. Judge Doughty’s ruling applies nationally, except in the 10 listed states where the CMS has previously been barred from applying the rule.

The Biden administration has previously appealed rulings affecting the CMS rule, and is likely to appeal the ruling affecting the federal contractors rule, all at uncertain times as the country monitors the Omicron coronavirus variant. Ballard Spahr’s Work and Employment group stands ready to advise federal contractors, healthcare systems and affected businesses on the status of these rules and how to plan for rapidly approaching vaccination deadlines.

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