Florida's Government Pushes Legislation To Prevent OSHA Mandate


CapitolJennie Richards

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stated this morning that his office and the leaders of the Florida legislature had achieved an agreement on parts of the legislation that will bar Florida employers from requiring employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

"We have to stand up for individuals, preserve their jobs, and protect their livelihoods," DeSantis stated. He chastised the federal government for enacting the vaccine mandate despite President Biden's previous admission that it lacked the authority to do so.

He went on to say that it took OSHA two months to issue a regulation for what the federal government is attempting to portray as a "grave danger." "That is incorrect. It is unethical to treat individuals in this manner. It is unethical to fire people from their jobs. It's not a good idea to try to micromanage firms in this way. It's also unethical to risk depriving critical industries of workers that we require, "DeSantis reinforced his point.

Many persons who contacted him and his office about employer vaccine obligations had already recovered from COVID-19, he added.

"Yes, we have a responsibility to oppose Biden's directives. Regardless of the mandates, we have a responsibility to safeguard Floridians. It makes no difference if the federal government shuts down tomorrow. We would still need to be ready to respond in order to protect our nurses, firefighters, and everyone else in the economy."

DeSantis achieved this by calling a special session of the legislature to pass a law that he could sign.

If an employer has a COVID-19 vaccine policy, the new law will make it less of a requirement.

The employer must give an exemption to employees who have a health or religious concern.

Employees must have access to testing or personal protective equipment, and the Florida Department of Health will establish the frequency of testing.

James Uthmeier, DeSantis' Chief of Staff, stated unequivocally that the law would grant substantial exception protections.

He is sure that, while federal rules do not provide sufficient exemption relief, this will not be the case in Florida.

In the 11th Circuit Court, Florida is likewise seeking a stay, hoping that the ruling would be similar to that of the 5th Circuit in a similar case.

According to Uthmeier, there will be no industry exemptions in the Florida statute, and every CMMS rule will be reviewed by lawyers. He also stated that legislators would look at ways to ensure that vaccine injuries are compensated if a business has a vaccine policy, despite the fact that OSHA has stated that employers are not compelled to disclose them on the OSHA 300 log.

Employers will face an investigation and possible fines if they fail to provide the proper exclusions and employee options.

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