Federal Vaccine Mandate Ends

In an AGC victory for the construction industry, the Biden Administration announced its plans to end the federal COVID-19 vaccination mandates, including those for federal contractors and federal employees, effective May 12, 2023.  In the next few days President Biden will issue an Executive Order (E.O.) officially repealing the mandates.  The Safer Federal Workforce Taskforce reiterated that federal agencies “should not take any steps to require covered contractors and subcontractors to come into compliance with previously issued Safer Federal Task Force guidance, or enforce any contract clauses implementing E.O. 14042.” The Taskforce will issue additional guidance once the new E.O. is issued.  It is believed that the Taskforce will soon be disbanded, or at least its authority significantly reduced.  

Shortly after the mandate was announced back in September 2021, AGC of America and two of its chapters — Dallas-based TEXO chapter and the statewide AGC of Texas chapter — quickly filed a Construction Advocacy Fund-backed lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the mandate and requesting an immediate nation-wide injunction.  The AGC lawsuit, along with a handful of other legal challenges from other groups, prevented the federal government from enforcing the mandate.  This announcement follows AGC’s victory against OSHA’s COVID-19 emergency temporary standard, and AGC’s successful Construction Is Essential campaign, which ensured that construction work be classified as essential in most parts of the country.  

Throughout the pandemic, AGC of America put forth a host of construction industry-specific resources on its COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit webpage, including a series of Construction Advocacy Fund-financed public service ads.  The recent withdrawal of the federal vaccine mandate likely signals the end of the Biden’s Administrations efforts to use COVID-19 as a tool to mandate vaccination on the construction industry.  However, AGC of America will continue to monitor this and other efforts by the Administration to unconstitutionally mandate requirements on our industry.