Confusion Remains in Fed Contractor COVID Mandate

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The chief executive officer of the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA), Doug Carlson, issued the following statement on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals partial reinstatement of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate affecting federal contractors:

“America’s utility construction contractors applaud the 11th Circuit’s decision barring the vaccine mandate on private companies engaged in federal procurement contracts.

“NUCA supports a broader reach for this injunction. Our industry believes a nationwide injunction on Executive Order 14042 is needed for all companies working on federal contracts. Half the states are still affected by this executive order, leading to confusion over enforcement within broad multi-state contracts.

“The court’s move to vacate the nationwide injunction is going to lead to more confusion and litigation. There are larger issues that should be considered by the courts, including past decisions leaving public health care decisions to the states and not the federal government. The fifty state governments are better equipped to handle their citizen’s jobsite safety and health emergencies than a broad federal authority. If this case moves forward, a nationwide injunction on this ill-advised executive order should be immediately issued by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Since the beginning, NUCA has encourage industry members to participate in the COVID-19 vaccine program. However, this association objected to mandated vaccine requirements because of the potential for further disruptions to our workforce, already suffering from labor shortages. Before the December 2021 halt in enforcement, the mandate also placed a tremendous paperwork load on contractors working on federal infrastructure projects.

“There are better ways to achieve COVID-19 public health goals than a federal vaccine mandate.”

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