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Forbes Advisor: Mariel Smith on Consequences to Unemployment Benefits for COVID-19 Vaccine Refusal

Forbes Advisor Smith Unemployment Vaccine Refusal

In an article published by Forbes Advisor on August 31, 2021, Partner Mariel Smith is quoted discussing whether employees who refuse to get vaccinated for COVID-19 as per their employer’s policies might find themselves ineligible for unemployment benefits if they get fired.

Employees have long understood that if they are fired, they can get unemployment benefits to tide them over until they find their next paycheck. But COVID-19 has introduced one major exception to this eligibility: if you are fired for being unvaccinated.

If your employer has enacted a vaccination policy and you are terminated because you refuse to abide by it, the employer has “cause” to fire you, deeming you potentially ineligible to claim unemployment benefits.

“Every state defines ‘for cause’ differently,” says Mariel. “Most states have similar statutes that indicate if an employee is terminated for breaking company policy, the employee would be denied unemployment benefits.”

She continues, “I would caution employees against the notion that if they don’t quit, but stay and get fired, they can get unemployment. It’s very risky.”

For the full article, click here.

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