Will Florida Companies Require Employees Get COVID Vaccine?

A recent survey of businesses by Arizona State University and the Rockefeller Foundation finds most of them will require their employees get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Almost two-thirds–63 percent–of the businesses surveyed will require proof that their employees have been vaccinated.

If employees refuse to get vaccinated, 42 percent of businesses will not allow them to return to their jobs while 35 percent would impose work penalties, including, perhaps, termination.

“Forcing employees to be vaccinated may have negative ramifications, especially in a tight job market here in Florida,” said business columnist and analyst Dr. Ed Moore.

Moore said many local businesses, including restaurants, are already having a tough time hiring people and mandating getting vaccinated could make hiring more difficult.

Some companies are offering incentives for their employees to get vaccinated. The survey shows that 65 percent of employers would offer more pay for their employees to get the vaccine.

Florida’s Darden Restaurants, which operates Olive Garden and other chains, plans to give hourly employees two hours of pay for each dosage of vaccine they receive.

Other businesses that operate in Florida are also offering employees who get the shot extra pay. These include Dollar General, Target, McDonald’s, Aldi and Trader Joe’s.

Attorney and legal analyst Ron Davis said he is noticing many businesses in Florida are backing away from a mandatory vaccine for employees.

Davis laid out several reasons why employers may stay away from mandating their employees get vaccinated.

‘You got litigation, the idea of a bigger role of government in people’s personal lives,” Davis told Florida Daily.  “Employees could have medical issues dealing with the shots. Others may oppose it based on religion and you got a governor who doesn’t support the idea either.”

In April, Florida’s Nova Southeastern University (NSU) notified students and staff that they would be required to get the vaccine before returning to the classroom.

But when Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an order preventing state agencies from mandating vaccinations and banning vaccine passports in the state, NSU, which is a private school, announced it would encourage faculty and students to get the vaccine.

 

Reach Ed Dean at ed.dean@floridadaily.com.

 

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