LEON COUNTY, Fla. — (Note: The video above is from a previous related report.)
The Florida Department of Health is fining Leon County more than $3 million after reports it fired 14 workers who refused or failed to submit documentation proving they had received the COVID-19 vaccine.
The total fine of $3,570,000 covers 714 counts of violating a state statute preventing governmental entities from requiring documentation of COVID-19 vaccination in order to gain access to or service from the office's operations in the state. Of the 714 employees the county required to provide vaccination verification, 14 were fired, according to a letter from FDOH to the Leon County Administrator.
"It is unacceptable that Leon County violated Florida law, infringed on current and former employees' medical privacy, and fired loyal public servants because of their personal health decisions," a statement from the governor's office says. "Governor DeSantis will continue fighting for Floridians' rights and the Florida Department of Health will continue to enforce the law."
The letter from FDOH to Leon County lists the following events as reasons for the violations and fine:
- On July 28, Leon County required all employees to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide verification by Oct. 1.
- As of Oct. 2, 700 county employees had provided documentation.
- On Oct. 14, the 14 employees who had not submitted their documentation were fired.
The county is being ordered to pay the fine within 30 days.