Broward County says it plans to comply with a ban against vaccine mandates imposed by Governor Ron DeSantis. But the county is rolling out a new program to convince its employees to get vaccinated.
Mayor Steve Geller announced a COVID-19 incentive program that will see nearly 7,000 employees getting a $500 bonus for providing proof of vaccination. The $500 incentive applies to seaport employees, airport employees, bus drivers and those in the parks and recreation sector. Some unionized workers are also included.
The program will run for a 60-day period starting on October 1.
“If you fail to show us proof of vaccination within that 60 days, the first pay period after 60 days, you will start getting docked $20,” the Mayor explained. That’s $20 per pay period.
Unvaccinated employees will also be required to submit to weekly COVID testing after the 60 days. The Mayor said the county is well within its rights to require that its employees be tested frequently.
“It’s a carrot and twig approach, and we believe that it is absolutely in compliance with the governor’s order and within the legislature’s statute,” Geller said.
At the end of the year, the county will reevaluate the program. If by then, most employees are vaccinated, then it will be discontinued. If not, the county will consider mandatory vaccination.