ORLANDO, FL – This week, Disney World put a pause on their requirement for employees to receive a COVID-19 shot thanks to Governor Ron DeSantis’ having restricted companies requiring the shot as a condition of employment.
“We believe that our approach to mandatory vaccines has been the right one,” the company said. “And at this point, more than 90 percent of active Florida-based Cast Members are fully vaccinated. We will address legal developments as appropriate.”
Mark Levitt, a labor and employment attorney in Florida said he isn’t surprised by the move, as Disney World is “simply abiding by state law, the state law has spoken and they are subject to that.”
Disney World near Orlando, Florida, operated by Walt Disney Co, has put its COVID-19 vaccination mandate on hold days after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed bills into law against vaccine mandates, reported Leonardo Feldman on Monday's "National Report". pic.twitter.com/DT9xo1RaYg
— Newsmax (@newsmax) November 22, 2021
Non-union employees were originally given until September 28 to receive a Covid shot, while union members were given until October 22, which is likely a major cause of their boasted 90% “vaccination” rate.
“Right now even the federal law is not in effect at this time, it has been stayed in the federal court,” Levitt said. The situation will have to continue to be worked through the courts.
Analysts say that with a company the size of Disney putting a halt on their mandate, other companies will likely follow suit.
Nick Caturano, a Disney cast member for over 16 years, spoke with local NBC affiliate WESH 2. He told the outlet, “I don’t know what the pause means long term, but it sounds like they’re just gonna stop and reevaluate the whole situation, and it seems specific to cast members in Florida.” Caturano is happy to hear of the development and was in the process of attempting to obtain an exemption.
The new Florida law states that employers must allow for exemptions as well as other options, such as testing and PPE gear. Disney plans on forcing those who haven’t received a shot to wear facemasks and social distance. These are still requirements even for the vaccinated in many places.
In a statement on Friday, DeSantis’ spokeswoman Christina Pushaw said, “Nobody should lose his or her job over these mandates. Disney is a major employer in Florida and we are proud that the happiest place on Earth is here in our state. We hope Disney and any other company that has suspended or terminated workers due to vaccine mandates will consider re-hiring them.”
Meanwhile, Disney World has paused its top-tier annual pass sales, with only the lowest tier available, which is only for Florida residents and has many block-out dates. Disney hasn’t returned comment as to why.
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This piece was written by Leah Anaya on November 22, 2021. It originally appeared in RedVoiceMedia.com and is used by permission.
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