Orange County threatened with fines by Ron DeSantis' admin over employee vaccine requirements


  • Photo via Twitter/OCFLMayor

Ron DeSantis' administration officially threatened Orange County with fines over their mandate requiring all county government employees be vaccinated.

Mayor Jerry Demings shared at the beginning of his most recent coronavirus press briefing that he received a letter from Department of Health officials on Friday. If Orange County were fined the $5,000 penalty for all of its more than 7,000 employees, they could face fines in excess of $30 million.

As you might expect from our Best Thousand Yard Stare winner, Demings seemed none too concerned. The mayor talked about the letter's errors, including a statement that Gov. DeSantis signed the bill "into law in May of 3021." He also noted that the letter was sent last-minute on a Friday, which he called "vintage from DeSantis."

"We are on firm legal ground with this vaccine mandate that we have put in place," he said. "I believe the law cited by Doug Woodlief of the Florida Department of Health is arbitrary, capricious, overbroad and dangerously inhibits local governments from protecting its citizens. I want Orange County residents to know that I will continue to fight to protect them."

DeSantis' administration is facing several legal challenges to its rules around the coronavirus pandemic. At least one shop owner has sued the state, seeking the right to request vaccination status of customers before they are allowed to enter their business. Norwegian Cruise Lines won the right to demand proof of vaccination from Florida-departing guests.

At the same time, parents of Florida schoolchildren are battling the state in court to grant local school districts the right to require masks be worn by students.

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