Florida is a leader among the states seeking to prevent workers from being fired for refusing vaccination and protect parents' ability to send their children to school without masks, Florida State Rep. Paul Renner, a Republican from Palm Coast, said on Flagler Broadcasting's "Free For All Friday" program Nov. 19.
Gov. Ron DeSantis has challenged the federal government's requirement that health care workers receive a COVID-19 vaccine and the OSHA rule that large employers require employees to receive a vaccine or undertake regular COVID-19 tests.
A judge on Nov. 20 declined Florida's request to block the Health and Human Services health care worker vaccination requirement while litigation proceeds.
The OSHA vaccination-or-test requirement for employers with 100 or more employees is on hold while a lawsuit by Florida and other Republican-led states works its way through the court system.
Renner said that case could go to the Supreme Court, and he'd expect the federal government to lose.
"I think they've tried to short-circuit the democratic process by not going through the Congress, to pass what they want to do," he said.
Florida's legislation on workplace COVID-19 vaccination, he said, allows for exemptions based on medical conditions or religious beliefs, or for people to wear masks in lieu of getting vaccinated.
"We give a list of options that are flexible for the individual, that they’re comfortable with, and really bring maximum flexibility and protections to workers, across the board," he said.
He added later, "This governor’s made the right decisions, I believe, time and time again, to strike a balance between keeping our society free and open, and fighting a serious virus and taking it seriously.
The state isn't discouraging vaccination, Renner said.
"We’re just simply saying in this legislation that we're going to protect workers, we're going to protect parents when it comes to rules in the schools on their children, and that's the right thing to do," he said. "And so we struck, I believe, a balance, and that's protecting our workers and our parents and standing up for medical freedom."