News is flooding in that Walt Disney World Resort has announced they are currently putting a pause on its COVID-19 vaccination mandate for all Disney World Cast Members. The reason for the pause of the vaccine requirement is due to statewide restrictions passed earlier this week.
It wasn’t too long ago that Disney announced they were requiring all Cast Members to have the COVID vaccine. Non-union Cast Members had until September 28 to complete their mandatory vaccine, then an agreement with unionized Cast Members came later with an October 22 date to be fully vaccinated. As Central Florida’s largest single-site employer the decision was controversial.
Orlando Sentinel has reported “A memo sent to Disney employees Friday (November 19) said the company was taking that action immediately because of the state legislation and anappeal court’s temporary delay of federal vaccination guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.”
Disney’s memo said it will require all Cast Members who had not verified they were fully vaccinated to wear face coverings and observe social distancing, among other safety protocols. Along with this, the memo noted that the company is pausing consideration of vaccine exemption requests from employees and will deem employees who had not yet finished the vaccination verification process unvaccinated for the time being.
The reason for the pause is due to one of the bills Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, signed early this week which limited employers’ abilities to carry out vaccine mandates. The bill requires that employers must now allow workers who agree to regularly test for COVID-19 and wear protective gear to be exempt from required vaccination. The law also requires employers to allow religious or medical exemptions under vaccine mandates.
Disney spokesperson Andrea Finger told the Orlando Sentinel the company will “address legal developments as appropriate” in response to the legislation.
Do you believe this pause on the Cast Member COVID vaccine mandate will last? Let us know in the comments.