Florida agency threatens to fine hospitals with strict COVID-19 vaccination mandates

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration announced that it will follow Florida's law that prohibits private employers from enforcing COVID-19 vaccination mandates, except if broad exemptions are allowed.

Florida law bans private employers from enforcing "a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for any full-time, part-time, or contract employee without providing individual exemptions that allow an employee to opt out of such requirement on the basis of medical reasons, including, but not limited to, pregnancy or anticipated pregnancy; religious reasons; COVID-19 immunity; periodic testing; and the use of employer-provided personal protective equipment."

CMS unveiled a memorandum Dec. 2 that said the enforcement of the Biden administration's vaccine mandate for healthcare employees would be suspended while court-ordered injunctions are in place. CMS then changed that rule through a Dec. 28 memorandum by enforcing the vaccine mandate in 25 states, including Florida.

The agency will not survey compliance with CMS' vaccine mandate law, according to a recent alert from the organization. If a healthcare worker is terminated for not following a private employer's COVID-19 vaccination requirement violating Florida's rule, then that employee can file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office.

Employers with fewer than 100 employees are subject to fines of up to $10,000 per violation of Florida's law, while employers with 100 employees or more are subject to fines of up to $50,000 per violation.

 

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