Florida law prohibits private employers from mandating vaccinations, unless certain exemptions are provided. These exemptions include medical or religious concerns, anticipated future pregnancy, and past COVID-19 infections. All employers in the state must comply with this law, according to Pushaw. Furthermore, employers who require their workers to receive the COVID vaccine must provide the exemptions outlined by the Florida Department of Health rule.
Healthcare providers in Florida are stuck in a difficult situation between their state and the federal government. On 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 this requirement last week. On the other hand, Florida's Republican governor Ron DeSantis called the policy of the Biden administration "madness" and signed a state law in November prohibiting employers from requiring COVID vaccines unless they offer extensive exemptions.
So what should Florida hospitals do? Hospitals that don't comply with the federal mandate face fines or even program termination from CMS, although sanctions won't begin until March 30 if hospitals are working to achieve compliance. Hospital chain Ascension announced a mandate over the summer, only to reverse policy in Florida following the change in state law in November.
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