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Gov. Gianforte: Biden Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors Violates Montana Law

Governor Greg Gianforte late yesterday provided guidance to Montanans on President Biden’s recent executive order mandating vaccines for federal contractors. The president’s executive order has raised concerns and created confusion for Montana employers and employees.

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. Biden’s executive order violates Montana law prohibiting discrimination based on a person’s vaccination status.

In a letter accompanying the new guidance, 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. It also outlines reasonable accommodations for health care facilities and special rules for licensed nursing homes and long-term care and assisted living facilities.

The governor’s letter and guidance on the legality of President Biden’s executive order mandating vaccines for federal contractors may be viewed here.

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