Employment Practices Related to a Vaccine Requirement

On November 18, 2021, Gov. DeSantis signed HB 1B into law, restricting employment practices related to a vaccine mandate. If an employer requires employees to be vaccinated, the employer must provide employees with five options for exemption. They are for medical reasons, religious reasons, COVID-19 immunity, periodic testing and the use of employer-provided personal protective equipment (PPE). In other words, a Florida employer is not prohibited from implementing a vaccine mandate on employees, but employees must be permitted to “opt out” of the mandate if they provide certification of one of the exemptions. Model certification forms are available from the Florida Department of Health.

Importantly, if an employer is going to be subject to the federal requirement for private employers with 100 or more employees, that employer would have a conflict with state law for Florida employees who wanted an exemption based solely on the use of PPE or certification of medical/religious reasons. Under the federal requirement, employees are only provided the choice of vaccination or weekly testing. Given the conflict between state and federal law, employers are encouraged to seek outside counsel on this issue.

Florida HB 1B »

Florida Department of Health, COVID-19 Vaccine Exemption Forms »