What's the game plan if you refuse the vaccine for work?

This question is the one that's been going through my mind this entire time. Many people around Maine, especially since the confirmation of the Pfizer vaccine by the FDA, are being told to vax up, or say goodbye. And while I respect everyone's conscience and decisions, what will happen next if you're fired or quit?

Personally, my job has not made such a requirement. And also personally, it won't affect me, because I am vaxxed. That was my personal choice. But like I said, I've frequently wondered what will happen to folks if they choose not to. The path afterward may not be as clear as it seems.

Will people qualify for unemployment if they are fired or quit?

According to WGME, the answer is likely no. A spokesperson for the Maine Dept. of Labor explains it this way:

Refusing to comply with an employer’s policies, including a health or safety policy, typically disqualifies a person from being eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

This has always been the case. Long before anyone even heard of the coronavirus, this has been the standard for receiving unemployment benefits. More than once in my lifetime, I have friends who quit jobs and tried to get benefits and were denied. As a former business owner, I've disputed claims for the same reason.

But, as the DOL states, every case is unique. So if you do end up unemployed, don't feel as though you can't apply for benefits, but you will definitely be in a pretty small minority if you get them, it would seem. It's a long shot, but what are the alternatives, other than trying to find a new job?

It's a slippery slope for everyone, and I don't envy anyone put in either position. There's about to be a lot of unhappy folks, and others that are straight up enraged. It's a crazy time in our state/country, and it will be debated for years afterwards about the could-have's and should-have's. But for today, this is how it's gonna go.

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