Walt Disney World pauses vaccine mandate after DeSantis signs new legislation

A vaccine mandate for Walt Disney World employees was paused after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisDemocratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills A sad reality: In a season of giving, most will ignore America's poor Walt Disney World pauses vaccine mandate after DeSantis signs new legislation MORE (R) signed legislation prohibiting businesses from requiring inoculations without exemptions.

Disney told The Washington Post on Saturday that the company “will address legal developments as appropriate,” but argued that their "approach to mandatory vaccines has been the right one.”

Over 90 percent of “active” employees based in Florida have provided proof of vaccination to Disney, the company said in a statement to the newspaper.


Earlier this year, Walt Disney World required non-union and salaried workers in addition to unionized employees to get a vaccine to stay employed.

Last week, DeSantis signed legislation that requires businesses to allow for exemptions to vaccine mandates, including prior COVID-19 recovery and religious or health reasons.

The legislation also allows employees to undergo regular COVID-19 testing or use personal protective equipment (PPE) in lieu of being required to get the vaccine. Additionally, governmental and educational institutions are not allowed to require vaccinations for their employees.

“There’s times you need to stand up and you need to make your voice heard, and we had the ability to do it,” DeSantis said during a press conference last Thursday. 

“At the end of the day, nobody in Florida should be losing their job over these jabs. We want people to be able to work, we want people to be able to provide for their families. We want people to be able to have livelihoods, and that’s just the way it’s going to be in this state,” he added.

Small businesses that employ 99 people or fewer that violate the law can be fined $10,000 per violation while larger businesses can receive $50,000 per violation.

The Hill has reached out to Disney for comment.