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Two Law Firms Must Force Vaccines In Biden Contractor Order (1)

Nov. 22, 2021, 7:50 PMUpdated: Nov. 22, 2021, 10:15 PM

President Joe Biden’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors could force at least two major law firms to begin requiring the shots by Jan. 4.

Sullivan & Cromwell and Baker Donelson have ongoing contracts with federal agencies though currently do not require all employees in their firms to be vaccinated, according to November Bloomberg Law and Bloomberg Government data.

They are among 26 firms that have ongoing contracts with federal agencies such as the Department of Defense or the Smithsonian Institute, according to Bloomberg data. Eighteen of the firms already require vaccinations for employees. Six of the firms, including Cleary Gottlieb, Hunton Andrews Kurth and Kilpatrick Townsend, did not respond to requests for comment.

The Biden administration mandate, if it survives multiple legal challenges, requires federal contractors to have all employees fully vaccinated by Jan. 4 with no option to test weekly instead. Enforcement of the mandate is largely left up to individual employers, according to a statement from the administration.

Sullivan & Cromwell and Baker Donelson did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Polsinelli told Bloomberg Law on Monday it has implemented a vaccine mandate.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has also published an emergency rule that will require all companies with more than 100 employees to require vaccinations or weekly Covid-19 testing. That rule is also facing a series of challenges in court, including some from religious institutions.

VIDEO: President Biden’s vaccine mandate rule for companies, the likely legal challenges and what to expect next.

So far, states including Arizona, Florida, Texas, and Georgia as well as some individuals have sued the administration over its vaccine mandate. The plaintiffs argue that Biden’s administration is not Constitutionally authorized to mandate vaccinations, but experts say the mandate is likely to survive.

The majority of the top 100 law firms in the U.S. already mandate Covid-19 vaccinations. At least 65 firms require lawyers to be fully vaccinated in order to work in-person, and around nine firms do not require employees to be fully vaccinated.

(Updates with Polsinelli implementing vaccine mandate. )

To contact the reporter on this story: Ruiqi Chen in Washington, D.C. at rchen@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; John Hughes in Washington at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com

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