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On October 11, 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-40 which effectively prohibits Texas employers from requiring its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Now, employers in Texas are left with conflicting laws from the state and federal government.

What Exactly Does the Order Say?

You might remember that President Biden issued an executive order requiring federal contracts to include a clause guaranteeing that all employees working on or in connection to the contract be vaccinated against COVID-19. Governor Abbot now accuses the Biden Administration of “bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates,” which in turn has caused “countless Texans [to] fear losing their livelihoods because they object to receiving a COVID-19 vaccination for reasons of personal conscience, based on religious belief, or for medical reasons.”   

Thus, to combat the alleged workforce disruption based on President Biden’s executive order, Governor Abbot’s order prohibits all entities in Texas from compelling any individual, including an employee or customer, from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine if they object to it for “any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19.”

Entities who are found to have violated this order may be fined a civil penalty up to $1,000.

What Does That Mean? How Do Federal Contractors Comply With the Order?

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Kevin M. Mosher

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