Covid-19 response

If an employee leaves because they don't want the vaccine, are they entitled to unemployment insurance?

  • 1.  If an employee leaves because they don't want the vaccine, are they entitled to unemployment insurance?

    Posted 15 days ago
    If an employee leaves because they don't want the vaccine, are they entitled to unemployment insurance?  If they file a claim can I fight it and expect to win?

    The answer is not entirely clear.  Generally, unemployment insurance pays employees who are out of work through no fault of their own.  An employee may be denied benefits if he or she was fired for misconduct or violating company policies.  An employer could therefore potentially prevail in contesting an unemployment claim if it argues that the employee violated a company policy by refusing to receive a mandatory COVID vaccine.  We note, however, there is New Jersey legal authority (Valent v. Board of Review) that held a nurse who was fired for refusing to take a Flu vaccine was still eligible for unemployment.

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    Timothy Atkinson
    NYSVMS
    Albany
    518-869-7867
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