New York: No unemployment benefits if fired for refusing vaccine
(ABC News) - The New York State Department of Labor has issued guidance to clarify that workers who are fired for refusing to get vaccinated are not eligible for unemployment insurance unless they have a valid medical reason.
That announcement came as part of a multi-layered plan released by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Saturday in preparation of the state's vaccine deadline for health care workers and school employees to receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Monday or face termination and to prevent resulting staff shortages in hospitals and health care facilities.
Under her plan, New York would declare a state of emergency to increase the health care workforce including allowing health care professionals licensed in other states or countries, recent graduates and retirees to work in New York state.
Other facets of the plan include deploying medically trained National Guard members and federal disaster medical teams to assist local health care providers.
As of Sept. 22, 84% of all hospital employees in New York State were fully vaccinated, according to the press release. As of Sept. 23, 81% of staff at all adult care facilities and 77% of all staff at nursing home facilities in New York State were fully vaccinated.
"We are still in a battle against COVID to protect our loved ones, and we need to fight with every tool at our disposal," Hochul said. "I am monitoring the staffing situation closely, and we have a plan to increase our health care workforce and help alleviate the burdens on our hospitals and other health care facilities. I commend all of the health care workers who have stepped up to get themselves vaccinated, and I urge all remaining health care workers who are unvaccinated to do so now so they can continue providing care."