Not legal. At all.
Healthcare workers who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine and are fired for failing to comply with a new state law will not be able to collect unemployment benefits unless they present a doctor-approved request for medical accommodation, according to the New York Department of Labor.
New York’s new vaccine mandate, which goes into effect Monday, makes it necessary for workers in New York’s hospitals and nursing homes to have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Employees working at in home care, hospice, and adult care facilities need to be vaccinated by October 7. The mandate also applies to all out-of-state and contract medical staff who practice in New York.
“Workers in a healthcare facility, nursing home, or school who voluntarily quit or are terminated for refusing an employer-mandated vaccination” are not eligible for unemployment insurance because the employer has a “compelling interest” for its employees to be vaccinated, according to the New York Department of Labor website.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has said she is prepared to call in medically trained National Guard members and workers outside New York to aid with a potential shortage of healthcare workers once the mandate takes effect and some people are no longer eligible to come to work.