Employees of public and private sector employers who are fired for not getting a COVID-19 vaccine likely won’t qualify for unemployment benefits, either, experts say.

“If you don’t want to be vaccinated, don’t have a religious or disability exemption, and you lose your job, chances are you will be found ineligible for unemployment compensation,” said Christopher Moran, a partner and employment attorney at the law firm of Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders, CNBC reported.

Anne Paxton, an attorney and policy director at the Unemployment Law Project, told CNBC that labor agencies would likely consider refusing an employer’s vaccine mandate for reasons that weren’t medical or religious as “misconduct,” making them generally ineligible for benefits if a termination resulted.

“I think the consensus is very strong that employers are within their rights to protect workplace safety, and employees are not within their rights to refuse to comply,” she said, CNBC reported.

As of Friday, just 56% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vaccine hesitancy seems to be waning, though. An Axios-Ipsos poll last month found that just one in five Americans are refusing vaccination, the New York Post reported.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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