Mandates Violate Montana Law
Federal mandates that federal contractors require their workers to be vaccinated violates Montana law and is therefore unenforceable.
President Biden has directed new or renewed federal contracts to require COVID-19 vaccination for contractor or subcontractor employees, to which Gov. Gianforte has responded that it violates Montana law prohibiting discrimination based on a person’s vaccination status.
Recognizing that the mandate has created confusion for Montana employers and employees, the Governor issued guidance to Montanans regarding compliance and recommended reasonable accommodations for health care facilities and special rules for licensed nursing homes and long-term care and assisted living facilities.
Issued September 9, Pres. Biden’s Executive Order 14042 directs new or renewed federal contracts to require COVID-19 vaccination for contractor or subcontractor employees.
The governor wrote, “As outlined in concurrent guidance from my administration, President Biden’s executive order violates Montana law. COVID-19 vaccine mandates, including as a condition of employment, are illegal in Montana, and state law makes clear that contract terms that violate Montana public policy are unenforceable. As such, President Biden’s order is unenforceable.”
The governor also wrote, “While I encourage Montanans to consult with their health care provider and get vaccinated, doing so is voluntary and no individual should face discrimination based on their vaccination status.”
The governor’s guidance clarifies to whom the president’s executive order applies, as well as the effect of the executive order on new or renewed contracts.