From the Washington Post:

At least five Republican-led states have extended unemployment benefits to people who’ve lost jobs over vaccine mandates — and a smattering of others may soon follow.

Workers who quit or are fired for cause — including for defying company policy — are generally ineligible for jobless benefits. But Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Kansas and Tennessee have carved out exceptions for those who won’t submit to the multi-shot coronavirus vaccine regimens that many companies now require. Similar ideas have been floated in Wyoming, Wisconsin and Missouri.

Critics contend that these states are incentivizing people to skip shots that public health experts say offer the best line of defense against the coronavirus. Business leaders and industry groups have argued against the rule changes because, they say, companies would shoulder much of the costs. And the efforts are playing out as the Biden administration is pressing immunization rules for private companies and as coronavirus cases are surging again because of the fast-spreading omicron variant.

 

I’ve asked Arkansas Workforce Services for confirmation that this is now happening and how

It puts another lie to Governor Hutchinson’s lukewarm encouragement that people get vaccinated.

Pay people not to work?

Pay people not to work because they won’t take a shot that protects co-workers and their fellow men and women?

This in a state that has the shortest period of unemployment coverage in the country. In a state that opted out of supplemental federal jobless benefits TEN WEEKS EARLY under the bogus theory that it was keeping people from going back to work. And now it is REWARDING people for refusing a vaccination?

Background, though details of the current situation remain to be clarified:

The legislature this year passed legislation to establish an exemption process for workers from private company vaccine requirements, including submitting to a weekly test or submitting proof of immunity twice a year (a dubious substitute). The business lobby, which pays for additional jobless claims in rates, objected. The governor said it created more problems than it solved and amounted to another mandate on private business.  But the governor allowed the measure to become law, recognizing the futility of a veto against a reactionary legislature.

The legislation required monthly reporting of its use to the Legislative Council. It had an emergency clause, so took effect and extends through July 2023.

Is there a formal rule now in place? Are shot resisters now on the dole in Arkansas? How many?

I’m trying to find out.

The legislature should pass a resolution honoring these defenders of freedumb at the first opportunity.

 

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