Florida: Gov. DeSantis signs legislation against heavy-handed COVID mandates

On Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation that will protect Floridians from losing their jobs due to COVID-19 vaccine mandates and protect parents’ rights to make healthcare decisions for students.

The bills were passed through a Special Session of the Florida Legislature and are effective upon the Governor’s signature.

Image/State of Florida

Effective immediately:

Private Employer COVID-19 vaccine mandates are prohibited.

Employees can choose from numerous exemptions, including but not limited to, health or religious concerns; pregnancy or anticipated future pregnancy; and past recovery from COVID-19.

Employees can choose to opt for periodic testing or PPE as an exemption.

Employers must cover the costs of testing and PPE exemptions for employees.

Employers who violate these employee health protections will be fined.

Small businesses (99 employees or less) will face $10,000 per employee violation.

Medium and big businesses will face $50,000 per employee violation.

Government entities may not require COVID-19 vaccinations of anyone, including employees.

Educational institutions may not require students to be COVID-19 vaccinated.

School districts may not have school face mask policies.

School districts may not quarantine healthy students.

Students and parents may sue violating school districts and recover costs and attorney’s fees.

“I told Floridians that we would protect their jobs and today we made that the law,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Nobody should lose their job due to heavy-handed COVID mandates and we had a responsibility to protect the livelihoods of the people of Florida. I’m thankful to the Florida Legislature for joining me in standing up for freedom.”

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