Businesses that force employers to get the coronavirus vaccine as a condition of employment should be held liable for adverse reactions, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Thursday after announcing he is calling the legislature back for a special session to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods from intrusive vaccine mandates.
“We will be calling the legislature back for a special session,” DeSantis announced Thursday during a press conference in Pinellas County.
“We want to make sure that individuals in Florida have their livelihoods and their jobs protected, and I think this is something — when we were doing the last legislative session, it would have never occurred to me that we would be in the situation that we are with some of the insanity that’s reigning down right now,” he said, explaining that his administration initially provided some of the strongest coronavirus liability protections for businesses, as that remained a primary concern last year.
“We didn’t think businesses should be getting sued over this, and so, we provide probably the strongest COVID liability protection … very early on and we were glad to do it,” he said.
“But I must say … to now see some of those same businesses who were complaining about potential liability turn around and want to fire employees over these injections, I kind of feel like they’re stabbing us in the back after we were standing up for them,” he said, briefly detailing some of the protections the legislature will pursue.
“We’re going to be pursuing a number of protections for employees. First of all, if you think about it, if anyone has been forced to do an injection and has an adverse reaction, that business should be liable for that–any damages. You have to do because that’s on them,” he said:
It wasn’t an individual choice. I also think this COVID liability protection that was given, the minute you go and start mandating that, liability protections is going to go by the wayside for each individual business that make the decision to fire people or to do any of that, and I know some of them have already done that. So we’re going to make sure we beef that up.
DeSantis also noted that some of those who have been fired are viewed as having been terminated for cause and, therefore, ineligible for reemployment assistance.
“We’re going to make sure those are not for cause and make sure we provide people a lifeline, but at the end of the day, you shouldn’t be discriminated against based on your health decisions,” he said.
“And so we want to provide protection for people. We want to make it clear that in Florida, your right to earn a living is not contingent upon whatever choices you’re making in terms of these injections, and I think that’s going to go a long way to let people know that we have your back,” he continued.
The Republican governor explained that he cannot simply issue edicts to address these issues because that is not the way a constitutional system works, using the overreaching “unconstitutional edicts” issued by blue state governors last year as a primary example.
“We’re not under a state of emergency in Florida. I don’t have the authority to just dictate. That’s why you need to have the legislature come in,” he explained, adding, “You can enshrine protections in the law. You can make sure we’re looking out for folks.”
Ultimately, DeSantis said his administration is tasked with standing up for rights and freedom.
“If we have unconstitutional mandates coming down from the federal government, we have a responsibility to fight back and defend the constitutional system, and we will do it,” he vowed.
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