Q&A – How Many Floridians Would Be Fired Under Biden's Vaccine Mandate?

President Biden Meets Virtually With China's President Xi

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Today’s entry: I’ve heard you say over a half-million would be fired by Biden vax mandate. How did you get to that number? I haven’t heard that reported anywhere else.

Bottom Line: Back in September when President Biden first tasked OSHA with creating a vaccination requirement as a condition of employment for most Americans, I began the process of attempting to see what the potential impact would be in Florida. It’s challenging because it’s a consistently moving target with ongoing changes in employment, along with changing COVID-19 vaccination rates within Florida’s workforce. But, I’ve figured out a way to get to a pretty good estimate. 

First, should the OSHA rule go through as of January 4th, any employee working for a private enterprise with 100 or more employees could be caught in the crosshairs. Of course, there’s the opportunity within the rule for those who’re unvaccinated to test weekly, at the employee’s own expense. 

It appears unlikely, however, that most companies will offer that option as it’d essentially require dedicated personnel to attempt to maintain it along with additional reporting requirements to the federal government. For that reason, the best approximation of the potential impact for Floridians in the workforce impacted by the new rule is gained by evaluating how many Floridians work for companies with 100 or more employees and how many of them are unvaccinated. 

It’s a lot of numbers so I’ll keep it as straightforward as possible. Florida’s total workforce currently is 10.59 million. Right now, there are 1.11 million government employees in Florida. That leaves the state with 9.48 million private-sector employees. Using SBA data, 68% of Florida’s private-sector workforce are with companies that have 100 or more employees. That leaves us with a total of 6.45 million private-sector employees who work with companies that are in the crosshairs of the Biden/OSHA vaccine mandate. 

If we take 26% of Florida’s 6.45 million workers who work for private companies with 100 or more employees, we end up with 1.68 million Floridians in the workforce who could potentially be fired for non-compliance with the new OSHA rule if it were to go through. As you can tell my characterization of greater than a half-million has been super-conservative. What’s happening this week in Tallahassee is clearly far more than partisan politics and Governor DeSantis’ future political ambitions. Should the Biden administration's vaccine mandate go through, without protections for Floridians, it’s certain that every Floridian would be negatively impacted. 

Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

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