New Hampshire is one of ten states filing a lawsuit against the federal government over a mandate requiring federal contractors and federally contracted employees to prove they have received they are vaccinated against COVID-19.

President Joe Biden announced a mandate in September requiring companies with more than 100 employees make sure they are all fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or require regular testing. The order included contractors who could not opt for the test.

"This power grab is sweeping in its scope. Employees of federal contractors constitute one-fifth of the total U.S. workforce. And the mandate goes so far as to demand vaccination even from employees who work entirely within their own home. That is unconstitutional, unlawful, and unwise," the lawsuit states.

The federal government left it to OSHA to come up with enforcement guidelines which have not yet been announced.

"The state has made clear that the available COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and that every eligible person in New Hampshire is encouraged to get a Covid-19 vaccine," NH Attorney General John M. Formella said in a statement. "That said, the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine do not justify violating the law. This lawsuit is being filed to protect the state of New Hampshire from the federal government’s attempt to impose illegal mandates.”

Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming are also part of the lawsuit.

The mandate forced UNH, which receives $130 million in federal research funding, to require all its employees and student workers take the vaccination.

"After a detailed review of interactions on the Durham campus, we cannot find a way to exclude any group of employees," UNH president James Dean said.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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