Tennessee Comptroller’s Office Suspends COVID ExemptionsSuspension comes after federal court preliminary injunctions
The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office is suspending all exemptions issued under the provisions of Public Chapter 6 of the 2021 Third Extraordinary Session after federal court judges in Kentucky and Louisiana issued preliminary injunctions on Tuesday, November 30.
The exemptions issued by the Comptroller’s Office allowed private businesses, governmental entities, schools, and other employers with federally awarded or amended contracts, subcontracts, or postsecondary grants to impose COVID-19 vaccine requirements as a condition to receipt of federal funds.
On Tuesday, a U.S. District Judge from the Eastern District of Kentucky issued a preliminary injunction and enjoined the federal government from enforcing the vaccine mandate for federal contractors and subcontractors in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. Accordingly, the Comptroller’s Office can no longer find that compliance with Public Chapter 6 would result in a loss of federal funding.
Similarly, a U.S. District Judge from the Western District of Louisiana issued a nationwide preliminary injunction on Tuesday enjoining and restraining the federal government from implementing a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services mandate requiring staff of certain healthcare providers to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. The Comptroller’s Office has granted exemptions to Medicare & Medicaid providers, and these exemptions are also suspended.
The Comptroller’s Office has issued 69 exemptions since Public Chapter 6 went into effect on November 12. It is important to note that these exemptions may be reinstated if the injunctions are lifted, and it is legally permissible.
The Comptroller’s Office will continue to accept and process notices for exemption during this time; however, no exemptions will be granted unless it is legally permissible. Notices may be submitted at https://comptroller.tn.gov/covidexemption
Media contact: John Dunn, Director of Communications, 615.401.7755 or firstname.lastname@example.org