Florida law prohibits vaccination mandates for private employers, unless several exemptions are also provided, including medical or religious concerns, anticipated future pregnancy or pregnancy, and past COVID-19 infections. All Florida employers must comply with Florida law, Pushaw said. And Florida law also requires employers who make workers receive the COVID vaccine to provide the exemptions outlined by the Florida Department of Health rule. Health care providers in Florida are caught in the middle of a fight between their state and the federal government.
On the one hand, the Biden administration requires healthcare workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 if they work in a center that receives federal money. The Supreme Court upheld that requirement last week. On the other hand, the Republican governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, who called the policy of the Biden administration, I quote, madness. In November, it signed a state law prohibiting employers from requiring COVID vaccines unless they offer extensive exemptions.
So what are Florida hospitals supposed to do? The hospital chain Ascension announced a mandate over the summer, only to reverse policy in Florida following the November change in state law. Hospitals that do not comply face fines or even program termination, according to CMS, although sanctions will not begin until March 30 if hospitals are working to achieve compliance.