Online Sunshine Logo
Official Internet Site of the Florida Legislature
February 24, 2024
Text: 'NEW Advanced Legislative Search'
Interpreter Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Go to MyFlorida House
Go to MyFlorida House
Select Year:  
The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XXIX
PUBLIC HEALTH
Chapter 381
PUBLIC HEALTH: GENERAL PROVISIONS
View Entire Chapter
F.S. 381.00316
381.00316 Discrimination by governmental and business entities based on health care choices; prohibition.
(1)(a) It is the intent of the Legislature that Floridians be free from mandated facial coverings, mandates of any kind relating to vaccines as provided in this section, and discrimination based on such vaccination status.
(b) The Legislature finds that society is harmed by discrimination based on vaccination status as provided in this section when healthy persons are prevented from participating in society and accessing employment opportunities. The Legislature further finds that remedies to prevent such discrimination are in the best interest of this state.
(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Business entity” has the same meaning as in s. 606.03. The term also includes a charitable organization as defined in s. 496.404, a corporation not for profit as defined in s. 617.01401, or any other business operating in this state.
(b) “COVID-19” means the novel coronavirus identified as SARS-CoV-2; any disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, its viral fragments, or a virus mutating therefrom; and all conditions associated with the disease which are caused by SARS-CoV-2, its viral fragments, or a virus mutating therefrom.
(c) “COVID-19 vaccine” means a preparation designed to stimulate the human body’s immune response against COVID-19.
(d) “Department” means the Department of Legal Affairs.
(e) “Emergency use authorization vaccine” means any vaccine that is authorized for emergency use under 21 U.S.C. 360bbb–3(a)(1) and qualifies as an unapproved product under 21 U.S.C. 360bbb–3(a)(2)(A).
(f) “Governmental entity” means the state or any political subdivision thereof, including the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government; the independent establishments of the state, counties, municipalities, districts, authorities, boards, or commissions; or any agencies that are subject to chapter 286. The term does not include an educational institution as defined in s. 381.00319.
1(g) “Messenger ribonucleic acid vaccine” means any vaccine that uses laboratory-produced messenger ribonucleic acid to trigger the human body’s immune system to generate an immune response.
(3)(a) A business entity may not require any person to provide any documentation certifying vaccination with any vaccine defined under subsection (2) or postinfection recovery from COVID-19, or require a COVID-19 test, to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the business operations in this state or as a condition of contracting, hiring, promotion, or continued employment with the business entity.
(b) A business entity may not discharge or refuse to hire a person; deprive or attempt to deprive a person of employment opportunities; adversely affect a person’s status as an employee or as an applicant for employment; or otherwise discriminate against a person based on knowledge or belief of the person’s status relating to vaccination with any vaccine defined under subsection (2) or COVID-19 postinfection recovery, or a person’s failure to take a COVID-19 test.
(c) For matters relating to vaccines other than those defined under subsection (2), a business entity shall provide for exemptions and reasonable accommodations for religious and medical reasons in accordance with federal law.
(d) A licensed facility as defined in s. 395.002 may not discriminate in providing health care to a patient based solely on that patient’s vaccination status with a COVID-19 vaccine.
(4)(a) A governmental entity may not require any person to provide any documentation certifying vaccination with any vaccine defined under subsection (2) or postinfection recovery from COVID-19, or require a COVID-19 test, to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the governmental entity’s operations in this state or as a condition of contracting, hiring, promotion, or continued employment with the governmental entity.
(b) A governmental entity may not discharge or refuse to hire a person; deprive or attempt to deprive a person of employment opportunities; adversely affect a person’s status as an employee; or otherwise discriminate against a person based on the knowledge or belief of the person’s status relating to vaccination with any vaccine defined under subsection (2) or a person’s failure to take a COVID-19 test.
(c) For matters relating to vaccines other than those defined under subsection (2), a governmental entity shall provide for exemptions and reasonable accommodations for religious and medical reasons in accordance with federal law.
(5)(a) A business entity or governmental entity may not require a person to wear a face mask, a face shield, or any other facial covering that covers the mouth and nose. A business entity or governmental entity may not deny any person access to, entry upon, service from, or admission to such entity or otherwise discriminate against a person based on such person’s refusal to wear a face mask, a face shield, or any other facial covering that covers the mouth and nose.
(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to:
1. A health care provider or health care practitioner as those terms are defined in s. 408.824, provided that such health care provider or health care practitioner is in compliance with that section.
2. A business entity or governmental entity when a face mask, a face shield, or any other facial covering that covers the mouth and nose is required safety equipment consistent with occupational or laboratory safety requirements, in accordance with standards adopted by the Department of Health. The Department of Health shall adopt emergency rules to develop such standards. Emergency rules adopted under this subparagraph are exempt from s. 120.54(4)(c) and shall remain in effect until replaced by rules adopted under the nonemergency rulemaking procedures of the Administrative Procedure Act.
(6)(a) The department may impose an administrative fine not to exceed $5,000 for each individual and separate violation of this section.
(b) For purposes of conducting an investigation or a proceeding, the department may administer oaths; take depositions; make inspections when authorized by law; issue subpoenas supported by affidavit; serve subpoenas and other process; and compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, documents, and other evidence. Challenges to and enforcement of subpoenas or orders shall be in accordance with s. 120.569.
(c) Fines collected pursuant to this section must be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
(7) This section does not limit the right of the person aggrieved by a violation of this section to recover damages or other relief under any other applicable law.
(8) If a governmental entity fails to comply with subsection (4), an employee terminated based on such noncompliance may be eligible for reemployment assistance under chapter 443 in addition to any other remedy available to the employee for a violation of this section.
(9) The department may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536 and 120.54 to implement this section.
History.s. 18, ch. 2021-8; ss. 1, 9, ch. 2023-43.
1Note.Repealed June 1, 2025, by s. 9, ch. 2023-43.