Fired for This? You May Lose Unemployment Benefits

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Employers are starting to fire workers who refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine. If this happens to you, don’t count on collecting unemployment benefits.

That is because in most states, you must prove that you lost a job through no fault of your own to be eligible to collect unemployment checks, MarketWatch reports.

As Dallas-based labor and employment lawyer Alana Ackels told MarketWatch:

“Typically, an employee who is terminated for failing to comply with company policies is not eligible for unemployment benefits, which would include refusing to comply with a company’s COVID-19 prevention policies, masking requirements or vaccine requirements.”

Some fired employees may be able to get around this.

Rebecca Dixon, executive director at the National Employment Law Project, told MarketWatch that employees who have proof of a medical exemption or who have religious objections to receiving the vaccine might still be eligible for unemployment benefits.

But others who are fired for refusing vaccination may be out of luck.

Ronald Zambrano, employment law chair at West Coast Trial Lawyers in Los Angeles, told MarketWatch that he believes “this could lead to tens of thousands of people across the United States without work or access to unemployment benefits because they refuse to get vaccinated.”

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