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Update: Florida’s Legislature’s Special Session Addresses Covid-Related Issues for Florida Businesses

The recent Legislative Special Session produced a variety of solutions to major issues facing businesses in Florida. The Legislature’s special sessions addressed significant business and employee matters including employee and family protections, COVID-19 restrictions, environmental impacts, and Florida’s financial position.

House Bill 1B prohibits private employers from mandating Covid-19 vaccination without providing employees the ability to opt out of the mandate under these potential exemptions:

  • (1) medical reasons
  • (2) religious reasons
  • (3) Covid-19 Immunity
  • (4) employee agreement to be tested regularly at no cost to the employee
  • (5) employee’s agreement to comply with the employer’s personal protective equipment.

The medical reasons include pregnancy or anticipated pregnancy, as determined by a health care professional. There is no requirement for corroborating documentation under the religious reasons category. The law also provides for the imposition of fines on employers who do not comply as well as unemployment benefits for any employee improperly terminated based on a Covid-19 vaccine mandate.  The Florida Department of Health also created forms for implementation of the exemption requirements.

Many of the Florida laws conflict with the recently enacted OSHA rules, leaving some businesses with uncertainty about if or how to implement related employment policies.

Brick Business Law provides advice, guidance and litigation services to Florida-based businesses. The firm is accepting new clients and provides a free new client consultation. To learn more about the firm, visit www.BrickBusinessLaw.com.  To set up a consultation, e-mail [email protected] or call 813-816-1816.