On Friday, January 21, a federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking implementation of the federal employee vaccine mandate contained in an Executive Order. The decision can be found at gov.uscourts.txsd.1855108.36.0.pdf (courtlistener.com). This injunction applies only to federal employees. A federal judge in Georgia had previously issued a nationwide injunction preventing the separate Executive Order mandating federal contractor employee vaccinations from going into effect. The latter injunction is on appeal, and this new injunction will almost certainly be appealed as well. Both cases likely will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. For now, those Executive Orders are not in effect.
The Supreme Court had previously blocked Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) emergency temporary standard requiring businesses with at least 100 employees to ensure workers are vaccinated against the coronavirus or wear masks and undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. The Court, however, allowed the federal government through CMS to require COVID-19 vaccination for health care workers at Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers. The court noted in the second case that "health care workers around the country are ordinarily required to be vaccinated for diseases."
John Falcone and Luke Malloy handle employment law matters at PLDR Law. Feel free to contact us if you have questions about this matter.