New Bill Challenges Federal Employee Vaccine Requirement
George Chuzi spoke with PSHRA about the Freedom from Mandates Act, currently before Congress, that would repeal the 2021 Executive Order requiring federal employees and contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to Chuzi, the likelihood of the bill’s success is difficult to predict, given “the President has announced that the COVID emergency will end no later than May 31 [of this year], it may be a difficult vote to insist that it remain in effect under the circumstances.” Furthermore, “an argument can be made that it’s in the national interest that federal employees continue to be vaccinated in order to protect themselves, those around them and the public with whom they come in contact. Whether there are enough lawmakers to pursue that argument is hard to predict.”
As federal workers return to the office full-time, the Freedom from Mandates Act could pose safety issues for co-workers and members of the public they come into contact with. “If those employees return unvaccinated, and another COVID variant that is more lethal than the current one gains a foothold in the population, those who are not vaccinated will pose a renewed threat to their colleagues, both compromised and uncompromised,” says Chuzi.
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