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Red states buck Biden by allowing workers fired over vaccine mandates to collect unemployment

WashingtonExaminer
WashingtonExaminer
 2021-11-29

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F our states with Republican legislatures have changed their laws to permit those who lose their jobs over vaccine mandates to still collect unemployment benefits.

The governors of Florida, Iowa, Tennessee, and Kansas have all signed legislation that allows workers who are fired for their refusal to be vaccinated or who quit over vaccine mandates to collect unemployment. The changes are symbolic of Republican resistance across the country to President Joe Biden’s own federal mandates and could end up taking effect in other GOP-held states.

Iowa was the first state to pass such a bill in late October. The legislation allows for medical and religious exemptions for workers and codifies their ability to collect benefits if they are terminated for refusing to be inoculated. Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, who is also suing Biden over the mandates, said at the time that “no Iowan should be forced to lose their job or livelihood over the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis, a possible 2024 Republican presidential contender and regular critic of Biden, signed legislation this month that prohibits private businesses from enforcing vaccine mandates unless they provide a wide array of exemptions. The new law also imposes fines of up to $50,000 for companies of more than 100 employees that unduly fire an employee under the new guidance.

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Christina Pushaw, the governor’s press secretary, explained to the Washington Examiner that, under Florida law, a person is disqualified from receiving unemployment assistance if they are fired for misconduct — including violations of the company’s rules. But if the employer’s rules are unlawful, the person who was terminated could still receive assistance.

“In other words, if an employer has a policy that is unlawful (such as a COVID vaccine mandate) an employee who is terminated for refusing to comply with the mandate would still be eligible for Reemployment Assistance benefits, which may not be available to workers who were fired for ‘misconduct,’” she said in a statement.

When DeSantis signed the new law, he called it the “strongest piece of legislation that’s been enacted anywhere in the country in this regard.”

Also this month, Tennessee’s Republican Gov. Bill Lee approved changes to state law that restricts businesses from mandating COVID-19 vaccines. In addition to prohibiting public schools from implementing mask requirements except for extreme surges, the new legislation allows those who quit their jobs because of vaccination requirements to collect unemployment.

Iowa is the only one of the four states that has a Democratic governor. Gov. Laura Kelly signed the legislation after a period of relative uncertainty . Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who is running against Kelly for governor next year, has pushed back on the notion of vaccine mandates, putting further pressure on the Democrat to sign the legal changes.

“Laura Kelly spent months sitting idle and silent as her party bosses waged war on everyday Kansans’ livelihoods and personal freedom. It wasn’t until she saw Democrats rejected in Virginia that she suddenly chose to feign disapproval of mandates,” a spokesperson for the Republican Governors Association told the Washington Examiner .

“Signing the bills championed by Republican leadership is the least she could do on her way out of office,” the spokesperson added.

In September, Biden announced that businesses with more than 100 employees must institute a COVID-19 vaccine mandate , although they have the option to provide weekly testing results in lieu of inoculation. The compliance date was Jan. 4., although the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit recently moved to block the order. That pause was later reaffirmed .

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Several states are also suing the administration over the edicts, which include requiring all federal workers and businesses with federal contracts to have their employees vaccinated, although those orders do not include a test-out option.

Despite the court hurdles, the White House has said it is confident that the mandates will pass legal muster.

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Comments / 195

kevin hinson
11-30

Well consider this all the nonessential workers got a full year of unemployment, while all the essential workers had to work without the vaccine available. Now they push a vaccine that we still don’t know the full list of side effects and expect everyone to just come on board with no questions. So why not give us essential worker a year off too huh?

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mooseplayer
11-29

they should collect unemployment. if cradle to grave abusers and drug users can collect the wrongfully terminated should collect to.

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ch
11-29

Let the vaccinated do all the work...they have demonstrated a slave mentality and a very low IQ when they got the experimental drug.and they turned evil when they bullied the smarter people to get the shot. Nothing lost if they are worked to death, and they do not need to be paid when Biden's hyperinflation makes their paychecks meaningless. Jump to it slaves!

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