City of Gainesville receives notification of fines for requiring employees to attest to vaccination status

Gainesville City Commission at August 19 meeting


Mayor Lauren Poe received a letter on Friday, September 24, from Doug Woodlief, the Division Director for Emergency Preparedness and Community Support at the Florida Department of Health (FDOH), notifying the City that they will be responsible for fines of $5,000 per employee for requiring employees to attest to their vaccination status.

The letter referred to an August 12 memo from City Manager Lee Feldman to the city commission, describing the charter officers’ plan to implement a motion made by the commission on August 5. Under the section responding to the commission’s direction to “create and implement a plan to require that all city employees receive the COVID vaccine,” the first step is “1. All employees will be required to attest (including proof of vaccination) to their vaccination status by September 7, 2021.”

The letter from FDOH notes that SB 2006 “specifically prohibits a governmental entity from requiring persons to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-infection recovery to gain access to, or entry upon, the governmental entity’s operations in this state. The Department of Health is authorized to impose a fine of $5,000 per individual violation of [this law].”

Regarding the City’s policy, the letter says, “This discriminatory policy infringes upon the fundamental rights and privacies of Floridians and is a direct violation of Section 381.00316, Florida Statutes. The City of Gainesville will be subject to fines for each individual violation… Please immediately provide the current total number of employees who are subject to the requirement.”

Although Alachua County has not mandated vaccines for their employees, they have also required all employees to attest to their vaccination status, and County Human Resources Director Heather Akpan told the county commission on September 7 that the County “had to get corrective actions” to 15 people who refused to attest to their vaccination status and that they were pretty close to 100% who had attested to their status as of that date. 

In response to a request for comment from Mayor Poe, Communications Director Shelby Taylor sent the following statement: “At its General Policy Committee meeting on Sept. 23, the Gainesville City Commission voted to reconsider its policy requiring employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. The motion specifically rescinded all previous direction for COVID vaccination policies. The city manager is in the process of issuing a response to the state’s letter.”

  • Maybe it’s time to take a look at the Alachua County Library District. They begin weekly “testing” of all employees who have not provided proof of vaccination, starting in October. . Wonder if those folks read any of the history or law books on the shelves?

    • The problem with fining our $ociali$t led city is they will pass the costs on to the residents. It’s exactly what’s going on in federal government now. When the WOKE finally realize what their elected leaders have done, they’ll be BROKE!

      Keep believing the $h!t they’re feedin’…

    • Absolutely! That man has almost singlehandedly (with help from Ward and Hayes) destroyed city government and a once thriving community. All 3 should NEVER be elected to anything above dog catcher! Taxes, fees, and rates are through the roof with their idiocy! Now fines maybe in the millions! The people should sue all 3 personally for every dime they’ve got!

    • The brave employees who stood up to their medical tyranny Should get the $5k…I’m ok with that..

  • Fantastic! Now do it for Alachua County and Alachua County Library District employees! They need the Florida Department of Health to step in to help, as well.

    • This comment should be direct to our governor DeSantis. He will help and extend this action to all entities.

    • I got it. Fine the city millions that it can’t pay so it can go bankrupt and into a court’s hands to approve every penny spent. Poe won’t control anything!

  • What do EMTs and their firemen dorm mates know about vaccine side effects of emergency patients, that isn’t being reported in the Dem media and NPR — which depend on globalist Rx advertisers and tax sheltered donor foundations, respectively?

  • The letter only asked how many employees the City has. No need to backpedal on it. Too late. Forethought is a virtue.

  • The only equitable way to fine the city and county would be to fine each commissioner who voted in favor equally. Then make sure they are able to provide a source of any funds used to pay those fines.

    Equity problem solved. Since they’re all equally stupid, they should be equally charged.

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