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Politics & Government

Don't expect unemployment benefits if you don't follow vaccine mandates

Delaware Public Media

The Delaware Division of Unemployment clarifies its rules for claiming unemployment benefits if one fails to follow COVID vaccine requirements.


More and more businesses are implementing requirements that employees either get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo regular testing.


And as those policies, combined with state and federal laws, come into effect, some staff are forced to leave their workplace if they refuse to follow the rules.


The Division of Unemployment sought to get ahead of this by making sure people know if they violate an employer’s policy, they are not entitled to unemployment benefits.


“We don’t want people to enter this without some thought and consideration from both sides,” said Daryl Scott, director of the Division of Unemployment. “Employees need to understand that you can’t just quit and come get unemployment benefits — that’s not the way the state law works and the way the process works.”


Scott says his office determined that vaccine and testing requirements are reasonable employer policies, as long as medical and religious exemptions are available.


“We know that employees have just begun to lose jobs as it relates to this, or that we’re aware that they’re losing those — the sort of stories that have been reported into the press,” said Scott.


ChristianaCare says almost 150 of its employees system-wide left because of its vaccine requirements.


Scott adds he hasn’t heard of a case in Delaware where an employee applied for unemployment benefits after leaving a job because of vaccine requirements, but notes many of those mandates are only just coming into effect.


Scott adds they are also dealing with a 10 week backlog of cases, due in part to a surge in fraudulent claims earlier this year, but other factors contributed to the backlog.


Scott says staff have been making good progress on getting through the backlog, and hopes to get back to turning cases around in under 30 days by mid to late November.


Roman Battaglia is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

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