Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Monday that any cities or counties in the state that mandate government employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine will face a fine of $5,000 for each worker.
"We are gonna stand for the men and women who are serving us. We are gonna protect Florida jobs," DeSantis said while speaking in Alachua County, according to local NBC affiliate WPTV. "We are not gonna let people be fired because of a vaccine mandate."
President Joe Biden announced last week that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is currently working on a rule to require any business with 100 employees or more to make sure that their entire staff is either fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or takes weekly tests to show that they are uninfected.
DeSantis claimed that any government agency that forces employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 is breaking the state’s recently passed law banning businesses from requiring proof of vaccination status from customers.
"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."
However, WPTV notes that the actual text of the law, SB 2006, does not actually mention vaccine requirements for government employees, only customers that wish to do business at a government facility.
The law states that "A governmental entity as defined in s. 768.38 may not require persons to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-infection recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the governmental entity’s operations in this state. This subsection does not otherwise restrict governmental entities from instituting screening protocols consistent with authoritative or controlling government-issued guidance to protect public health."
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