TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida lawmakers will meet on Monday for a special legislative session that was called by Gov. Ron DeSantis last month to address vaccine mandates and other COVID-19 issues.
Legislators will consider four pieces of legislation aimed at blocking vaccine mandates imposed by private and public employers.
SB2 and HB 1B would give employees five reasons to opt-out of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, including pregnancy, religious reasons or immunity based on prior COVID-19 infection as determined by a lab test.
For employers who violate the proposed COVID-19 opt-out options, fines would be levied based on the size of the business.
For small business, or those with fewer than 100 employees, the legislation would seek to impose $10,000 fines for each violation. Medium to big businesses, or those with more than 100 employees, would face $50,000 fines per violation, should the legislation pass.
“It’s wrong to kick people out of work, it’s wrong to try to micro-manage businesses like that and it’s wrong to deprive key industries of people we need,” DeSantis said.
The session is expected to last all week. Democratic lawmakers have called it unnecessary and “anti-business.”