A look at Florida’s COVID-19 legislation


Legislation signed on May 11, 2023:


  • Prohibits business and governmental entities from requiring proof of vaccination or post-infection recovery from any disease to gain access to, entry upon or service.
  • Prohibits employers from refusing employment to or discharging, disciplining, demoting or discriminating against an individual solely on the basis of vaccination or immunity status.
  • Prevents discrimination against Floridians related to COVID-19 vaccination or immunity status.


Prohibits “gain of function” research in Florida.


  • Provides that health care providers and health care payors have the right to opt out of participation in or payment for certain health care services on the basis of conscience-based objections.
  • Provides requirements for a health care provider’s notice and documentation of such objection.
  • Provides whistle-blower protections for health care providers and health care payors that take certain actions or disclose certain information relating to the reporting of certain violations.
  • Prohibits boards, or the Department of Health if there is no board, from taking disciplinary action against or denying a license to an individual based solely on specified conduct.


Provides an exemption from public records requirements for certain information relating to complaints or investigations regarding violations of provisions protecting from discrimination based on health care choices.

Legislation signed on Nov. 18, 2021:

  • Prohibits private employer COVID-19 vaccine mandates. 
  • Establishes fines for employers violating these employee health protections. Fines are set at $10,000 for businesses with 99 or fewer employees, $50,000 for larger businesses per violation.
  • Establishes that government entities may not require COVID-19 vaccinations of anyone, including employees.
  • Establishes that educational institutions may not require students to be COVID-19 vaccinated.
  • Establishes that school districts may not require students to wear face masks.
  • Establishes that school districts may not quarantine healthy students.
  • Allows students and parents to sue school districts in violation of these laws and recover costs and attorney’s fees.