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Disney Pauses Worker Vaccine Mandate After Florida’s Ban

November 22, 2021 – The Walt Disney Company suspended its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees at its Florida theme parks after state lawmakers banned employers from requiring workers to be vaccinated.

Walt Disney World could have been fined under the policy, company spokesperson said The New York Times. The Biden administration ordered the vaccination of workers at large companies, but Florida and other states challenged the warrant in court.

The Florida legislature passed a bill blocking COVID-19 vaccination warrants, and Governor Ron DeSantis passed it on Thursday. The new rule was promoted as an effort to protect workers who could lose their jobs.

“No one should lose their job due to tough COVID mandates, and we had a responsibility to protect the livelihoods of the people of Florida,” DeSantis said in a statement.

Florida law prevents employers from enforcing strict vaccine mandates and allows employees to request exemptions due to health or religious concerns, a previous coronavirus infection, or pregnancy or pregnancy. an early pregnancy. The law also states that unvaccinated workers can undergo regular testing or wear protective equipment.

Fines for violating the ban could be $ 10,000 per day per employee for companies with less than 99 employees. For large companies, fines can be up to $ 50,000 per employee violation.

In August, Disney World struck a deal with employees to require theme park workers to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus to keep their jobs. The company defended this rule again on Saturday, Times reported.

“We believe our approach to mandatory vaccines has been the right one as we have continued to focus on the safety and well-being of our actors and guests,” the company said.

More than 90% of active Florida cast members have verified that they are fully vaccinated, the newspaper reported. The Walt Disney Company said the hiatus will remain in effect while the company assesses the state’s new law, according to an internal memo obtained by FOX 35 News in Orlando.

Cast members and Florida-based employees who have not verified their immunization status will be required to follow safety protocols for unvaccinated individuals, including face coverings and physical distancing, according to the internal memo. .

The company also encourages customers to follow safety protocols by wearing face covers, checking for symptoms and getting vaccinated.

“We encourage people to get vaccinated,” the company said.

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