MELBOURNE, Fla. - A healthcare group in Central Florida is mandating that its employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
OMNI Healthcare announced the new mandate on Thursday requiring that all OMNI staff must receive the COVID-19 vaccine. They believe that the move will help protect the company's employees and patients from contracting the virus.
"We are requiring that all of our employees be vaccinated as soon as they are eligible, providing there are no contraindications," OMNI President and CEO Craig Deligdish said.
The mandate is still reportedly in accordance with Governor Ron DeSantis' executive order that defines the first phase of vaccine administration for long-term care facility residents and staff, persons 65 years of age and older, and health care personnel with direct patient contact.
"The American Disabilities Act and OSHA require us to maintain a safe workplace. Obviously, it is not safe when people are potentially exposed to coronavirus, which is as we all know is a potentially lethal disease when they develop COVID," Deligdish added.
So is this legal? Can an employer force an employee to get the coronavirus vaccine?
"The law tends to favor that employers are in theory allowed to have their employees get the vaccine," said attorney Whitney Boan, "but that if the employee has a religious exemption or health exemption, the employer is going to have to make other accommodations."
OMNI Healthcare said that they have already administered over 2,000 COVID-19 vaccines in Melbourne. Dr. Deligdish said that "receiving the vaccine was a very emotional moment for many people and I’m glad we helped make that experience a positive one. All the great feedback we’ve gotten is a reflection of our staff’s dedication and commitment to providing patients with excellent care."
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