On Friday, October 14th, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (Task Force) issued some “clarifications” about the expected next steps for Executive Order 14042 – the federal contractor vaccine mandate – now that the longstanding nationwide injunction restricting enforcement of the E.O. has been narrowed by order of the Eleventh Circuit. That narrowing (to just the six States that were named parties to the legal challenge in Georgia v. Biden) took effect on October 18th. OMB and the Task Force suggested that we would see at least three new guidance documents now that the injunction is narrowed, including:
- OMB would give notice to federal agencies about compliance with applicable injunctions, and also whether, where and when the new clause implementing Executive Order 14042 should be included in new solicitations and contracts.
- The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force would update its COVID-19 guidance for covered contractor workplaces, including a timeline for implementation. Last week’s clarification specified that this “updated guidance [by the Task Force] will be issued following development and review by the Task Force, subject to the OMB Director’s approval and determination published in the Federal Register that the updated guidance promotes economy and efficiency in Federal contracting, in accordance with Executive Order 14042.”
- After the updated Task Force guidance issues, and if the OMB Director makes a determination that implementation of the E.O. in some form continues to promote economy and efficiency in federal contracting , then OMB would provide additional guidance to agencies on timing and considerations for provision of written notice from agencies to contractors regarding enforcement.
On October 19th (the day after the 11th Circuit’s narrowing of the nationwide injunction took effect), OMB did issue one of the notices we were expecting. Continue reading