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Federal court halts vaccine mandate for federal contractors nationwide

When Auburn University announced its compliance with the federal contractor vaccine mandate in October, we noted that the mandate may be challenged in court and that we would monitor and communicate any developments.

On December 7, 2021, a federal judge issued a nationwide preliminary injunction halting enforcement of the federal contractor and subcontractor vaccine mandate requirements issued by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force in response to President Biden’s Executive Order 14042, Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors. The mandate requires covered contractor employees to be fully vaccinated by January 18, 2022. On November 30, a federal judge in Kentucky blocked enforcement of the mandate in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Given this development, Auburn is pausing enforcement of its vaccine policy. We will continue to monitor legal challenges to the most recent court order and communicate any further modifications in response to legal developments.

The university’s face coverings policy remains in effect.

Emergency Covid-19 Administrative Leave (ECAL)

Auburn University is extending Emergency COVID-19 Administrative Leave (ECAL) through the end of the spring 2022 semester for eligible employees.

ECAL Time Limits
An eligible employee can receive up to two weeks (80 hours) of ECAL. (The amount will be prorated for a part-time or student employee.)

An eligible employee’s currently available ECAL is contingent on how many hours they have used from Jan. 1, 2021, to now. ECAL used from Jan. 1, 2021, to now, will be deducted from the two weeks (80 hours).

ECAL Usage
If the eligible employee is unable to perform their work remotely and has ECAL available, it can be used for the following reasons:

  • The employee is required by the university to quarantine.

  • The employee is impacted by a school or daycare required quarantine due to the pandemic. (ECAL will not be applicable if childcare or on-site learning is available but the employee chooses not to participate.)

ECAL Documentation
Please note that additional documentation may be required:

  • Please use the COVID-19 Leave Request Form to complete the request, which must be approved by the supervisor.

  • Additional Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) documentation may also be required.

In Closing

The university reserves the right to terminate ECAL at any time.

The guidance and directives on this page reflect changes to university operations as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and at the university’s discretion will supersede any conflicting policies. This guidance is subject to change as the situation requires. Compliance with these terms – and any further updates published at – is required of all Auburn University faculty, staff, students, contractors and visitors. Failure to comply will result in disciplinary action and/or removal from campus. The campus community may report violations of public health directives.

Last updated: January 03, 2022