Employees Who Lose Their Jobs For Refusing To Get COVID-19 Vaccine Might Not Qualify For Unemployment
With more and more companies requiring employees to be vaccinated, for those that refuse and quit or are let go might not qualify for unemployment. Locally both Essentia and St. Luke's have stated that all of their employees must be vaccinated.
Joe Roby Jr is an attorney at Johnson, Killen & Seiler, and specializes in employment and labor law. He states that " for an employee to collect unemployment they would have to have been let go from a job through no fault of their own, like if a company downsizes and they are lose their job."
But If an employee is let go for refusing a company wide policy that applied to all employees like getting vaccinated, it could be considered misconduct and that employee could be fired as a result.
Roby said to WDIO:
Misconduct is defined in the unemployment statute as pretty serious wrongdoing. It’s not just carelessness, it’s not just negligence, it’s not just poor performance. It has to be pretty serious and it has to be intentional.
Roby went on to explain that for years healthcare providers have required employees to get TB tests to be able to work at their facilities. If an employee got hired and then refused to get tested they might be in jeopardy of losing their job.
Right now their are two reasons for exemption from the vaccine, medical and religious reasons. In order for someone to have a chance at an exemption from medical reasons they would need a note form a DR. but religious reasons for an exemption may become harder to prove.
This will be interesting to see how many more companies especially medical facilities will follow suit and impose the mandate on vaccinations for employees. Locally this could effect employees at group homes, nursing homes, EMT's and more. This has effected every aspect of our society including professional athletes like Kirk Cousins from the Minnesota Vikings who has been in the news recently for refusing to get vaccinated. Time will tell if people will risk losing their jobs or on the other hand if more people will get vaccinated in Minnesota in order to receive the $100 payment currently being offered.