Florida Strikes Forward With Punishing Local Governments Over Vaccine Mandates


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration is pushing forward with plans to penalize native governments that relish Covid-19 vaccine mandates in location, because the mayor of  Orange County, which involves Orlando, acknowledged Monday he had got a letter from the whisper threatening the county with fines for its vaccine requirement.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis holds a news conference in Viera, Florida.

SOPA Photos/LightRocket by Getty Photos

Key Details

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings acknowledged at a press briefing Monday his location of labor got a letter at 4: 52 p.m. Friday from the Florida Department of Neatly being, which claims the county’s vaccine mandate is a “discriminatory coverage” that “infringes upon the major rights and privacies of Floridians.”

The county has a mandate in location that requires all staff to be fully vaccinated by September 30 or face a written reprimand, with which Demings acknowledged an “overwhelming majority” of staff relish complied.

The Department of Neatly being alleges the vaccine mandate goes against a Florida whisper statute that prohibits governmental entities from requiring proof of Covid-19 vaccination, or else face a elegant of $5,000 per infraction—which might well add as a lot as hundreds of thousands of greenbacks if native governments are fined for each and each employee.

The department told Demings the county is now discipline to the fines thanks to its coverage, and asked the county to “at once present” the quantity of staff discipline to the vaccine coverage, in line with a duplicate of the letter offered to Forbes.

Demings acknowledged Monday the county’s criminal educated would review and reply to the letter, however did no longer toddle into reverse from the vaccine coverage and acknowledged “there’s absolute self belief” the scenario would terminate up in court.

Needed Quote

“We’re on company excellent floor with this vaccine mandate that we have got build in location,” Demings acknowledged, citing federal legislation that supports employer vaccine mandates and criticizing the whisper statute as “arbitrary, capricious [and] overbroad.” The mayor, a Democrat who’s married to U.S. Receive. Val Demings (D-Fla.), additionally instructed the whisper’s possibility “has some political overtones” from Republican DeSantis, however mighty taxpayers would finally be those who might well be punished since their funds might well be extinct to pay any whisper-ordered fines.

What To Thought For

Orange County is one in every of several native Florida governments to impose vaccine mandates on its staff, along with those in fundamental areas love Miami and Tampa, however became once the first to document listening to from the whisper about the fines. The Florida Department of Neatly being has no longer yet spoke back to a seek data from for touch upon whether or no longer letters were despatched to every other native governments and when the company intends to toddle forward with imposing fines.

Key Background

DeSantis beforehand launched in mid-September that his administration intended to punish native governments that had vaccine mandates in location, alleging the policies are “very intrusive” and “illegal.” The vaccine mandate possibility is per chance the most up-to-date in a string of fights over Covid-19 orders between native governments and DeSantis, who has opposed any form of Covid-19 mitigation measures love masks mandates or lockdowns. The Florida govt has additionally blocked native governments from enforcing their absorb masks orders, a prohibition that some relish violated anyway, and has withheld funding from various college districts that relish imposed college masks mandates regardless of a whisper-level ban on them. 


Florida has additionally extinct its ban on offering proof of vaccination to acquire a stumble on at and block cruise ships from mandating Covid-19 vaccines, regardless of protests from both the cruise industrial and its passengers. The whisper has so a long way misplaced that fight, on the opposite hand, as a deem ruled Norwegian Cruise Line might well question of proof of vaccination whatever the whisper coverage, and other cruise strains relish extinct that determination to note suit.

What We Don’t Know

Whether or no longer DeSantis’ administration will equally strive to toddle after deepest employers that require proof of vaccination—in particular Disney, which has imposed a vaccine mandate for its staff and has a predominant presence in Florida. (Walt Disney World in Florida is the supreme single-plan employer within the nation.) The whisper govt has so a long way no longer acknowledged whether or no longer it intends to elegant deepest agencies, the Orlando Sentinel reported in mid-September, however DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw told the newspaper, “Referring to deepest agencies, we’re taking a stumble on in any recognize excellent alternate recommendations to present protection to the rights of staff.”

Extra Reading

DeSantis says native governments face hundreds of thousands in fines within the event that they mandate COVID vaccines for team of workers (Orlando Sentinel)

DeSantis administration threatens Orange County with fines for vaccine mandate (Orlando Sentinel)

Biden Administration Doles Out Money To Florida Schools Penalized For Imposing Conceal Mandates In opposition to Pronounce Rules (Forbes)

Florida Gov. DeSantis Most up-to-date To Block All Local Covid-19 Orders—Alongside side Conceal Mandates (Forbes)

Rotund coverage and dwell updates on the Coronavirus

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