Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has announced that cities and counties that mandate vaccines for government employees will be fined $5,000 per worker.
During his speech in Alachua County, DeSantis stressed that government agencies that violate his order could face millions in fines.
“We are gonna stand for the men and women who are serving us. We are gonna protect Florida jobs,” DeSantis said. “We are not gonna let people be fired because of a vaccine mandate.”
The governor was responding to an announcement by President Joe Biden that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is working on a rule to require businesses with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccines for their entire workforce — or require the unvaccinated to produce weekly negative test results. The rule is projected to impact over 80 million American workers.
DeSantis explained that mandating vaccines will be a violation of the newly passed SB 2006, which banned businesses, governments and schools from requiring vaccine passports. The legislation lays out that those who violate the ban would face fines “not to exceed $5,000 per violation.”
“You don’t just cast aside people who have been serving faithfully over this issue, over what’s basically a personal choice on their individual health,” DeSantis said. “We cannot let these folks be cast aside. We cannot allow their jobs to be destroyed.”
Local Florida station WESH reports that “Orange County has put in place such a vaccine requirement. Mayor Jerry Demings announced a mandate that all Orange County employees must be partially vaccinated by Sept. 30 and fully by Oct. 31.”
When asked by a reporter about DeSantis’ announcement, Demings said at his press briefing, “I hadn’t heard that, so we’ll look at whatever directive the governor puts out and consider our legal options.”
“I’m not going to take actions that will adversely impact the safety of our community. Sometimes quite frankly I question whether or not the governor really sees it that way. He may say that he does but I believe that many of the decisions that he makes are purely, politically motivated,” Demings continued.