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Florida Department of Health Issues Notice of Fine to Leon County Totaling More Than $3.5 Million for Violation of Florida Law
October 12, 2021
The County's illegal employee vaccine mandate results in 714 counts of violating law
Tallahassee, Fla. —Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) has issued a notice of violation to Leon County Government assessing fines totaling $3,570,000 for its blatant violation of the law relating to the ban of vaccine passports in our state. This fine has been assessed for 714 instances of violating Florida's ban on vaccine passports. Leon County Government ultimate fired 14 employees. A copy of the Notice of Violation to Leon County can be found here.
"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,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. "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.”
"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,” said State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo. "Individuals have every right to choose how to best protect themselves and their families, and the Department will continue to enforce this law.”
On July 28, Leon County Government mandated that its employees provide verification of vaccination to its human resources department no later than October 1. On October 4, Leon County terminated 14 employees for their refusal or failure comply with this requirement. Leon County Government required 700 of their employees to provide this proof in order to keep their jobs.
While Leon County has broken the law and received notice of a multi-million dollar fine, other local governments have reversed course. Last week, after alerting the City of Gainesville of their possible violation of the vaccination passport ban in Florida, the Florida Department of Health received a response indicating the City of Gainesville rescinded its employee vaccine mandate. This reversal also follows an Eighth Judicial Circuit Court temporary injunction preventing vaccine mandates for city employees.
Last month, Governor DeSantis held an event to reinforce Florida's commitment to defend public servants against government vaccine mandates. This past May, Governor DeSantis signed landmark legislation to ban vaccine passports in Florida. Senate Bill 2006 specifically bans governmental entities in Florida from requiring any person, including an employee, to provide proof of vaccination or post-infection recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from their operations. The law imposes a $5,000 fine per violation.
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