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Court Blocks Vaccine Mandate for Federal Employees

Posted on January 24, 2022

On January 21st, a federal judge in Texas ruled that the Biden Administration cannot enforce its vaccine mandate for federal employees, issuing an injunction that halts the requirement nationwide.

The rationale for the decision derived from three factors:

  1. First, that the plaintiffs would suffer irreparable harm because “no legal remedy protects the liberty interests of employees who must choose between violating a mandate of doubtful validity or consenting to an unwanted medical procedure that cannot be undone.”
  2. Second, that the plaintiffs would likely succeed on the merits of their lawsuit, as the President lacked the authority to issue such a broad mandate.
  3. Third, that the balance of equities favored the plaintiffs. Here, the judge found that while the government has a strong interest in slowing the spread of COVID-19, the overwhelming majority of the federal workforce has already received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.

As such, the federal judge reasoned that there is more harm in having federal workers who provide vital services to the nation lose their jobs than force them to get vaccinated.

View the the full opinion.

If you have questions about this update or any other labor & employment matter, contact your Knox Law attorney or our Labor & Employment group.

For more information, please contact Sarah Holland.