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Red States Pay Unemployment Benefits to Anti-Vaxxers Who Quit Their Jobs

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On Oct. 20, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced a crackdown on unemployment benefits

Nine days later, however, Reynolds signed legislation that pays vaccine refusers to do just that: sit on the sidelines

Under these new laws, any worker who gets fired for broadly defined “misconduct,” such as flunking an employer-imposed drug test, is disqualified from unemployment benefits—but employees who refuse COVID vaccination are glorified, protected, and subsidized.

The GOP’s coddling of vaccine refusers makes a joke of its rhetoric about self-reliance. This summer, for instance, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee ended the federal government’s supplemental COVID-era unemployment benefits. “We are paying people to stay home. That needs to change,” he declared. But two weeks ago, Lee signed legislation that pays vaccine refusers to stay home

In May, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that he, too, would end bonus payments to unemployed Floridians. These payments, he argued, had created a perverse “incentive structure” that discouraged people from working. But DeSantis signed legislation two weeks ago that sets up a similar incentive structure, exclusively for people who defy COVID vaccine requirements (albeit with lower payments than when the federal government was still offering an extra $300 per week in benefits). Under the new law, vaccine refusal can’t “be deemed misconduct for the purpose of reemployment assistance.” In fact, the Florida law says that if you’re unemployed and you’re offered a job that requires vaccination, you can turn it down and stay on the dole.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/11/red-states-are-now-paying-unemployment-benefits-to-anti-vaxxers-who-quit-their-jobs.html