Refuse COVID-19 vaccines and claim unemployment

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – With Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine fully approved, more private employers are now adding company policies requiring their workers to be fully immunized on specific dates, unless they are have a religious or medical exemption.

Some employees will choose to quit their jobs or be made redundant instead of getting the vaccine, but breaking a company rule could mean no UI benefits for these people as they seek new employment.

“When an employee refuses to be vaccinated in response to an employer’s warrant, what the employee is doing violates a company rule,” said Dan Analyst, a legal analyst. “Under these circumstances, violating a company rule, an employee is generally not entitled to unemployment if that is the reason for his termination,” Eaton said.

In California there are several eligibility criteria when applying for unemployment benefits. The state’s Department of Employment Development (EDD) says unemployment claims are determined on a case-by-case basis by looking at the specific facts of each individual claim.

But an EDD spokesperson adds: “Not to mention a specific case, benefits are generally available to those who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. When a person resigns or is made redundant and then applies for unemployment benefits, we conduct a telephone interview with the applicant and the employer to determine whether the person is entitled to the benefits.

According to the EDD, if an applicant quit his job, they will have to prove that there was a “good reason for leaving” and that they made all “reasonable attempts” to keep this job. If they have been made redundant, the employer must prove that there has been a fault. Misconduct can include violating company policy.

Eaton expects EDD to be busy with these claims; He also expects more lawsuits to emerge from workplace mandates.

“When there is a mandate and resistance to a mandate almost by definition, it leads to legal disputes, and as often happens, the courts are going to be the final arbiter,” Eaton said.

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About Charles D. Goolsby

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