The Florida Department of Health has fined Leon County over $3.5 million for violating the state’s law that banned vaccine mandates and passports.
In May, Florida became one of the first states in the country to ban vaccine passports, with a law even more stringent than other states like Texas, the Florida legislation not only banned state entities from requiring vaccines, but also banned private businesses from requiring any customers to show proof of vaccination.
However, despite the actions of the Florida state government to protect their citizens from overreach on vaccine passports and other coronavirus restrictions, such as masks, county and city authorities have often been willing to violate state legislation and executive orders.
Leon County, which covers Tallahassee and the surrounding area, was fined over $3,570,000 as a result by the Florida Department of Health for 714 instances of violating the state’s legislation on vaccine passports, including the firing of 14 employees earlier this month for refusing to provide proof of vaccination to the county’s HR department.
“It is unacceptable that Leon County violated Florida law, infringed on current and former employees’ medical privacy, and fired loyal public servants because of their personal health decisions,” Governor Ron DeSantis said in a statement.
“We will continue fighting for Floridians’ rights and the Florida Department of Health will continue to enforce the law. We’re going to stand up for Floridians’ jobs, stand up for Floridians’ livelihoods, and stand up for freedom.” DeSantis further added in a tweet that the state government will fight to “preserve the ability of Floridians to make their own decisions regarding what shots to take.”
We must protect the jobs of Floridians and preserve the ability of Floridians to make their own decisions regarding what shots to take.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) October 12, 2021
“Firing hard working employees over vaccine passports has real and lasting consequences. It leads to resentment in the workplace, and loss of employment impacts individual and public health,” Florida State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo said in a statement. “Individuals have every right to choose how to best protect themselves and their families, and the Department will continue to enforce this law.”
While Leon County was served up a fine, others have buckled under the pressure from the state government. Last week, the City of Gainesville revoked their employee vaccine mandate, after being alerted to their violation of the state legislation by the Department of Health.
In states that have applied vaccine mandates, they are coming under scrutiny from the court system. As National File reported, New York’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers was temporarily stopped on Tuesday after a judge granted an injunction to 17 workers who sued the state.