Vaccine Mandates in Condos? Peter Sachs Has the Answers

Peter S. Sachs, a Founding Partner and Chairman Emeritus of Sachs Sax Caplan P.L. answers questions regarding how vaccine mandates could potentially impact condo associations.

“I live in a senior community. Can I ask employees of the community about their vaccination status? Obviously, we prefer to have vaccinated employees at work here, in the clubhouse, and elsewhere. Is it legal for us to ask or require this of the management company?”— Paul, Boynton Beach

Don’t take this upon yourself; speak to your management company. It would not be appropriate for a resident to inquire of an employee directly regarding vaccination status. It is a private matter. However, the board of the association or community may require the management company to certify that all of its employees on-site will be vaccinated as of a date certain as a matter of policy and contract between the association and the management company. The community at large may then rely upon the certification of their vendor, the management company.”

“I have organized a luncheon for leaders of the hospitality industry at a hotel in Fort Lauderdale on Oct. 8. On the official invitation, I added a clause as follows: “COVID-19: For the safety of all attendees, vaccination cards will be required.” There will be no more than 52 attendees due to the capacity of the dining room in the hotel.

By asking for vaccination cards, am I facing legal issues because of Gov. Ron DeSantis’s new law? Could the hotel be held liable in addition to myself?” — Ron Stevens, Boca Raton

You can’t ask people for their vaccination cards because of the new Florida law that prevents businesses, schools and government agencies from requiring people to show documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccinations before gaining entry. The only exception is health care facilities.

If you require the vaccine card as a condition of entry, you run the risk of being fined $5,000, and the hotel also could face a penalty.

The hotel may have exposure. The reader may want to have the event catered at a private home rather than involve the hotel, which likely would have concerns if it knew the condition of entry for the event.”

“I belong to a non-profit group that is having a fundraiser event in December at a hotel. It is a sit-down dinner and silent auction. We would like to ask all paying guests and members to show proof of vaccination so that everyone will feel safe attending. Is this legal? If I want to have an event in my private home, can I say that everyone must be vaccinated? Or does this not make a difference?” — Kathy Schultz

You can’t ask for vaccination proof for your fundraiser, but you can for the event in your house.

Starting Sept. 16, Florida will start fining businesses, schools and government agencies as much as $5,000 if they ask for vaccine proof. It’s part of the bill Gov. Ron DeSantis signed earlier this year that banned vaccine passports.

Vaccination cards may not be required in Florida as a condition of entry or service. There is no exception for not-for-profit groups holding fundraisers. Exceptions are limited to health care and health care service-related providers.

However, you’re free to make whatever rules you like for entry into your home.

Your reader may invite guests to her private home and require proof of vaccination from her invited guests as the property owner. The restrictions apply to businesses, not homes.”

Questions appeared in the Sun-Sentinel

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