Five Republican states extend unemployment protections to those fired over vaccine mandates

by Vianca Rodriguez

Several GOP governors are making brave moves against the grain of the Democrat establishment by protecting the rights of workers that were fired or forced out for remaining unvaccinated against Covid-19.

Five Republican-led states, including Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, and Tennessee, recently signed legislation that would incorporate exceptions for individuals fired or forced into quitting their jobs for nothing more than choosing not to get inoculated. Many consider the federal government’s vaccine mandates unnecessary government overreach.

Wyoming may soon join that list, according to the Casper Star Tribune. Idaho is also battling against Biden’s vaccine mandates via the courts.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has made it clear where he stands on vaccine mandates. Not only did he extend unemployment protections for those fired from their jobs for failing to get inoculated, but he also signed a package of bills into law late last month that would protect Floridians from “Fauci-ism,” citing individual freedom.

Gov. DeSantis recently highlighted a case that successfully and legally defied federal draconian vaccine mandates by getting a Floridian doctor’s job reinstated, thanks to his own state’s legislation.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds had previously expressed disdain for mandates as well. She blasted vaccine mandate enforcement for worsening a persistent worker shortage in an already fragile healthcare system.

Normally, individuals that voluntarily quit or are fired for failing to comply with “company policy” are not eligible for unemployment benefits under existing rules. However, several Republicans moved to create exceptions to the norm, especially in the case of those that are being put at risk of sudden financial loss while not being allowed a choice of whether they get vaccinated.

Despite the fact that vaccine mandates prove to be a polarizing issue among the general public, it is notable that the efforts appear more bipartisan than ever. Not only did Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, sign HB 2001 into law late last month, but also, Sen. Joe Manchin recently opposed vaccine mandates for large businesses.

Will Raderman, an unemployment benefits specialist from Niskanen Center, a libertarian-leaning think tank, told The Washington Post that it doesn’t make sense to deny benefits based on someone’s vaccination status.

“I don’t think their families, if they have children, should suffer because that breadwinner is refusing to be vaccinated,” Raderman, a former Bernie Sanders field organizer, revealed. “To say [unvaccinated people] should also lose financial security in between jobs, that seems pretty extreme to me.”

Several other states filed lawsuits against the Biden administration over the OSHA vaccine mandate for private businesses, with the Supreme Court agreeing to hear oral arguments on the controversial issue beginning Jan. 7.

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