Leon County Facing $3.57 Million State Fine For Vaccine Requirement

Leon County has challenged a multi-million dollar fine leveled by the state over its vaccine mandate on county employees.

The 23-page filing by attorneys with Tallahassee firm Greenberg Traurig was filed with the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings. It disputes the $3.57 million fine issued by the state's Department of Health last month.

Leon vs. Florida | Here's what's happened so far:

Before that, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would begin fining local governments $5,000 per employee for any vaccination requirements implemented. In all, 14 county employees were fired for not being vaccinated by the Oct. 1 deadline.

The county has requested a formal hearing before an administrative law judge, who can determine the county hasn’t violated state law and that the fine should be withdrawn.

The county allowed employees to file for a number of accommodations for ADA-covered disabilities, doctor-certified and diagnosed medical conditions or “a sincerely held religious belief.” Anyone who was allowed an accommodation is required to wear a mask at all times while at work or may opt to submit a negative COVID test weekly.

Leon County has claimed it followed home-rule procedures for protecting public health and did so under federal occupational guidelines. They argued the effect of paying the fine would set the county back "substantially" and have an adverse effect on efforts to protect the community.

The state contends the county violated Florida public health law. The filing takes issue with that. 

“DOH has stated its mistaken determination that Leon County is required to continue to employ at-will persons if they refuse to comply with Leon County’s Employee Vaccination Policy,” attorneys wrote.

“Leon County has not violated the statute and DOH has misapplied it.”

Contact Karl Etters at [email protected] or @KarlEtters on Twitter.

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Source : https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/2021/11/02/leon-county-florida-fine-vaccine-mandate-ron-desantis-covid-judge/6246652001/

Leon County Commissioners will meet privately to discuss $3.57 million vaccine fine


Leon County Commissioners will meet privately to discuss $3.57 million vaccine fine