What would it do: Under an executive order issued by Biden on Sept. 9, contractors and subcontractors for the federal government are required to comply with workplace safety guidelines developed by a federal task force. That task force on Sept. 24 issued guidelines requiring that federal contractors ensure their employees are fully vaccinated by Dec. 8. There are limited exceptions for medical or religions reasons. The requirements could apply to millions of employees.
Who's challenging it: The guidelines have been challenged through more than a dozen lawsuits, including seven brought by Republican-led states or coalitions of states. The arguments are similar to those against other vaccine mandates, asserting the Biden administration exceeded the procurement rule-making powers granted by Congress, infringed on states' responsibilities and didn't properly gather public comment.
Where it stands: A federal judge in Kentucky issued a preliminary injuncting Tuesday barring enforcement of the vaccine requirement for contractors in three states that collectively sued — Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. Judges in Mississippi and Washington state have declined to block the requirements; the question is pending before other courts.
What's next: Legal challenges pending in several other states could lead to additional court rulings this month on requests for injunctions. The Kentucky ruling also could be appealed. Barring a nationwide court order, there could be a patchwork of requirements for contractors depending on the states where they work.