The governor said Florida cities and counties that mandate a COVID-19 vaccine for employees will face fines
NEWBERRY, Florida — The firm standing up against the Biden administration, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said Monday that any cities and counties in the Sunshine State that mandate a COVID-19 vaccine for general government employees will be fined $5,000 per worker.
Speaking in Alachua County, DeSantis said violating government agencies could face penalties of millions of dollars.
“We will stand up for the men and women who serve us. We will protect Florida jobs,” DeSantis said. “We will not allow people to be fired because of a vaccine mandate.”
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The governor’s tough anti-delegation stance is another challenging shot for President Joe Biden, who announced just last week that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is setting a rule requiring all companies with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is full. Vaccinate, or require any workers who have not been vaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work.
DeSantis said Monday that any government agency that forces its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is breaking a recently passed standard. SB 2006.
The governor said the law, which bars private companies from requiring customers to provide proof of coronavirus vaccination – also known as “vaccine passports” – also applies to government agencies.
“You’re not just ignoring people who have been loyally serving on this cause, about what is essentially a personal choice about their individual health,” DeSantis said. “We cannot let these people be put aside. We cannot allow their jobs to be destroyed.”
However, a closer look at the language of the law does not specifically say anything about vaccine requirements for government employees, only clients who do business in government facilities:
“No government entity as defined in Section 768.38 may require persons to provide any documentation that demonstrates COVID-19 vaccination or post-injury recovery to access, access, or service from the operations of the government entity in this instance. This subsection does not limit Government entities may otherwise establish examination protocols consistent with official or regulatory directives issued by the government to protect public health.”
Biden’s vaccine mandate will affect more than 80 million workers in private sector companies, according to the White House.
During a public address last Thursday, the president argued that COVID-19 is currently responsible for the “unvaccinated pandemic.”
“What more is there to wait for? What more do you need to see?” asked Biden as he promoted the safety of vaccines.
Biden has claimed that his plan will ensure that the United States uses every tool to combat the coronavirus and save lives in the coming months, while keeping schools open and safe and protecting the economy from shutdowns and further damage.
Speaking at Ponte Vedra Beach last Friday, DeSantis said Biden is “acting outside the bounds of the Constitution” by issuing the vaccine directive.
The governor promised to work with the Florida legislature and hinted at legal action to provide protections for Florida residents.