Universities are Conflicted Between Two COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

October 25, 2021
Universities are Conflicted Between Two COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

Universities in a Southern state and city that are collectively holding billions of dollars in federal contracts now are wrestling with how to best navigate the Biden administration’s mandate in which all federal contractors be vaccinating. This would occur by Dec. 8 in the state that bans vaccine mandates.

Universities: Employees and Vaccinations

Several Texas public universities are evaluating the executive order. They are all managed by Governor Greg Abbott. This is occurring while more public unities are, in fact, announcing that all employees must be vaccinating to comply with the federal requirement. While this does all apply to the new federal contracts of $250,000 or greater. Plus be awarding as of November 14th or the existing contracts which have been renewing as of October 15th.

Universities: Conflicts Arising and Money

Michael LeRoy who is a labor law expert at the University of Illinois College of Law said this situation is really unprecedenting. Yes, LeRoy believes, there have been conflicts that go on between the state and federal government. However, not at this magnitude with this type of money which is on the line.”

Courts will Have to Address the Issue

The issue is going to be resolving in the courts, LeRoy believes, this is because of the two conflicting issues at the center. Moreover, state universities will receive funding from the state and federal levels. Yet, they are running by a board of regents that are appoining by the Texas governor.

The Impact of Future Grants

There is the unlikely hood of the federal government which could right away terminate a grant, LeRoy said, that is if universities do not comply. However, the university’s actions could impact future bids for federal grants going forward. He did speculate, the federal government could exercise the right to give the notice to rescind a grant. Although that is a lengthy process. Yet, for now, the universities are waiting for the guidance of their own lawyers.

Noncompliance Unexcused

“… [T]he White House has really been clear that noncompliance will not be excused. Plus, even in situations where state law contradicts the federal directive,” Shawn Lindsey, University of Houston spokesperson said. “It’s an extremely complicated situation which does require further analysis.”

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