The GOP-led legislature in Kansas passed a similar bill that Governor Laura Kelly, a Democrat, recently signed. And in Arkansas, controlled by Republicans, a law that cuts vaccine regulations will take effect in January.
Other states, including Wyoming and Wisconsin, have considered such provisions, and many more are expected to consider similar legislation when lawmakers return to their capitals in January.
Countries need to approve these unemployment benefit measures because workers are often ineligible if they voluntarily quit or are fired for violating company policy.
Jared Walczak, vice president of state projects at the Right-wing Tax Foundation, said: “Employers have considerable authority to impose a wide range of duties on their workers. . Non-compliance is grounds for dismissal.
For example, workers in New York’s health care facilities, nursing homes, and schools voluntarily quit or were terminated due to employers’ refusal to comply with immunization requirements. required will be deemed ineligible for unemployment compensation without a valid claim for accommodation, the state Department of Labor said in its FAQ.
But people who have no public exposure at work and have a compelling reason to refuse to comply can apply for unemployment benefits, the state said.
Governors and state officials who are fighting vaccination mandates say they are looking out for their people.
“This legislation also gives workers the assurance that they will still receive unemployment benefits despite being fired for defending their beliefs,” said Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican. , said in a statement after signing the bill in late October.
Some states are also protecting unemployed people who encounter vaccine duties during their job search.
In Kansas, for example, the new law allows people who decline job offers because their waiver request was denied to remain unemployed, said Jenna Brofsky, senior associate at law firm Husch Blackwell. . Usually, those who refuse a job lose their eligibility.
However, employers will likely have to accept the expanded benefits bill, which has raised some concerns in the business community. Typically, the employer unemployment tax rate increases when their laid-off workers receive unemployment benefits.
Douglas Holmes, president of UWC – Strategic Services on Unemployment & Workers’ Compensation, said the laws were passed very quickly and there was not much time to assess all the impacts.
Also, while states have different unemployment benefit eligibility rules, these measures infringe on businesses’ right to set their own employment policies, Walczak said. .
“It could essentially clash with federal requirements for employers when they are forced to pay benefits even though they are bound by federal rules,” he said.
Cut benefits for some, extend them to others
His office did not return a request for comment on the new law expanding eligibility for unemployment payments.
Andrew Stettner, senior fellow at the Centennial Left Foundation, said the latest state moves were “quite prolific”.
“In general, Republican governors are very strict when it comes to unemployment benefits and who follows the rules,” said Stettner, who analyzed the impact of early termination on the unemployed. “They’re the ones in a hurry to cut benefits, and now they want more people on benefits – workers who are refusing to get vaccinated.”
Stan Veuger, senior fellow at the right-wing American Enterprise Institute, said: Undermining vaccine mandates and protecting those who lost their jobs for violating directives seems like “pretty bad policy” bad, counterproductive”.
“It pays people not to vaccinate,” he said. “To the extent that we want (the pandemic) to end, this doesn’t help.”