Can you be legally required to have a COVID vaccine in Florida?

Companies in Florida can require employers to be vaccinated, but they can’t ask for proof.

SAINT PETERSBURG, Fla. — Local leaders are asking for more people to get vaccinated, but some question if it can be legally required. 

In Florida, Attorney Charles Gallagher of Gallagher & Associates Law Firm said companies can require employers to be vaccinated. State and federal employees can be required to be vaccinated as well.

Here’s the catch, employers can’t ask for documentation for proof of vaccination. This is because of an executive order signed by Governor Ron DeSantis. 

The Governor’s office explains, all Florida businesses can’t ask for proof of a vaccine. “Additionally, the legislation codifies the prohibition of COVID-19 vaccine passports. Governor DeSantis enacted this prohibition through an executive order last month, blocking any business or government entity from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination,” a press release from the Governor’s office stated in May.

There are exceptions to vaccine requirements. 

“Some exceptions would be for religious reasons, medical reasons, and an ADA conditions possibly,” Attorney Charles Gallagher explained.

Gallagher said companies can also require their employees to be tested daily for COVID if they are not vaccinated. Other options companies could consider would be to allow an employee to work from home.

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