Leon County, which incorporates the capital of Tallahassee, balked on the $3.5 million effective, claiming its vaccination requirement and subsequent firing of 14 workers have been authorized and accused Gov. Ron DeSantis of being political.
“The governor’s place on this occasion, sadly, seems to be much less of a public well being technique and extra about political technique,” Leon County Administrator Vincent Lengthy stated.
DeSantis stated Tuesday, “Nobody ought to lose their job due to COVID pictures,” whereas saying the effective on Twitter. “We should defend the roles of Floridians and protect the power of Floridians to make their very own choices relating to what pictures to take.”
The state stated the county had violated Florida’s “vaccine passport” legislation, which prohibits companies and governments from requiring individuals to point out proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
“These are folks that, presumably, have been serving all through this entire time and now abruptly they’re principally getting kicked to the curb,” DeSantis stated in a information convention in regards to the fired workers.
The legislation may end up in $5,000 per violation.
“It’s unacceptable that Leon County violated Florida legislation, infringed on present and former workers’ medical privateness, and fired loyal public servants due to their private well being choices,” DeSantis spokesperson Taryn Fenske stated, based on the Tallahassee Democrat. “Governor DeSantis will proceed preventing for Floridians’ rights and the Florida Division of Well being will proceed to implement the legislation.”
President Biden introduced a federal vaccine mandate final month for companies with greater than 100 workers, which hasn’t gone into impact but and the Florida legislation is being challenged in court docket.
“We don’t want the state bullying our communities or personal companies who’re merely attempting to serve the individuals and get on the opposite aspect of this pandemic,” Democratic state Sen. Loranne Ausley stated.
The state is investigating dozens of native governments and companies for potential violations of the legislation, based on the Orlando Sentinel.
The Related Press contributed to this report.