As more companies put vaccine mandates in place, it is likely that more employees will face being fired for refusing the vaccine.
On top of being fired, those that lose their jobs may be ineligible for unemployment benefits because their firing is due to a violation of company policy.
Usually, an employee who loses their job after noncompliance is not eligible for unemployment benefits, and this now includes being fired for not being vaccinated. An employee who has proof of a religious or medical exemption to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine may still be eligible to collect unemployment benefits.
Ronald Zambrano, employment law chair at West Coast Trial Lawyers in Los Angeles, said refusing a work-required vaccine “is akin to an employee’s refusal to submit to permissible drug tests or participate in safety trainings”.
Quitting because of a required vaccine at work is unlikely to change anything in terms of unemployment benefits.
It is possible that state workforce departments could update their eligibility so that depending on the situation, fired employees may be eligible.
Many on Twitter are arguing that punishments for being unvaccinated should go even further with some suggesting higher health insurance rates or companies refusing insurance to the unvaccinated.