Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed four bills targeting COVID-19 measures such as vaccine mandates into law on Thursday, with the Republican governor opposing the Biden administration and prohibiting public and private employers from implementing COVID-19 mitigation measures. The latest step has been taken to prevent
The bills, which came out of DeSantis, a special session called to pass the vaccine mandate ban, were passed by the state legislature before going to the governor’s desk on Wednesday.
While DeSantis insisted on banning the employer vaccine mandate altogether, final bill passed by the legislature bans vaccines for public sector employees, but requires private companies to adopt more exemptions for any vaccine requirements, such as “pregnancy or anticipated pregnancy”, a prior COVID-19 infection, Routine testing or using personal protective equipment.
Any employer that does not comply with the law will be fined $10,000 per employee if they have fewer than 100 employees and $50,000 per violation if they have more than 100, and a separate bill Makes any investigations of businesses accused of violating the law private until they are completed.
The bill also strengthens the state’s prohibition on school mask mandates by banning school districts from mandatory masks — saying that only parents can make that decision — or barring a student from attending school if they are exposed to COVID-19 until they’re asymptomatic and have tested positive.
In response to the Biden administration’s directive for all large employers to implement a vaccine-or-testing mandate, carried out through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), another bill DeSantis to develop a plan by January to get Florida out of OSHA and a state-led replacement for it.