Are Vaccine Mandates Constitutional?
There are a few questions that have been circulating around the COVID-19 pandemic currently.
The first question is: If your employer requires the covid-19 vaccine and you refuse and get fired, can you get unemployment benefits?
If you are fired from your job for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine as a term of your employment generally the answer is no you can not. With that being said every state is different on how they run their unemployment offices.
However there are some loopholes that make former employees qualified for unemployment benefits if they are terminated through no fault of their own.
On the other hand experts say they forfeit their unemployment benefits if they either leave a position on their own or if they are terminated for cause such as they failed to comply with a company policy like a vaccine mandate.
Again every state handles this differently with the vaccine mandate and how to handle terminations as a result of non compliance. Fired employees can challenge unemployment denials in some states. In order for you to find out if you can challenge your unemployment benefits denial you need to go to your state’s unemployment website and follow the directions on their website.
Even though there are some circumstances you can challenge an unemployment denial there are a few instances that you can’t. If your employer does not have a formal covid-19 vaccine policy or if your employer requires religious or medical exemptions because it can not be reliably accommodated.
If you have a medical exception or religious exemption you might not be protected from being fired. This is because your employer can legally deny your exemptions.
Moral of the story is every state operates on a case by case status on their unemployment benefits. If you have questions for how your specific state works you can contact your local unemployment office for help or on their website.
The second question: Whatever happens to companies with more than 100 companies there employees either need to get the vaccine or rigorous testing?
Coming up with these rules is up to the Labor Department and OSHA to come up with the actual rule text. Then the Department of Labor needs to distribute the rules to the states. Since the Department of Labor has been meeting with lobbyists and more than 40 labor unions along with other interested parties on the topic.
The Biden Administration never gave an official timeline for when the OSHA and Department of Labor rules will be made public. Some private companies have already implemented their own vaccine mandate ahead of the Labor Department rules. These companies have the right to do so as long as it does not violate a state rule.
Third question: Are vaccine mandates even constitutional?
Yes, vaccine mandates are constitutional. The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld vaccine mandates as early as the 1920s. The Supreme Court has even upheld this three times this year alone.