Can an employer make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory?

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Can employers make it mandatory for their employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The short answer is “Yes.” Employers can require workers to take safety measures, like vaccinations.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you will get fired if you refuse. You might be asked to sign a waiver, or to agree to work under specific conditions.

But, what if you do lose your job for saying no?

I asked the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services if someone who is let go for refusing a mandated vaccine is eligible to receive unemployment benefits. Don’t assume that you will be.

In a statement, the department said, “Unemployment insurance is available for individuals who are unemployed due to no fault of their own. Generally, those who voluntarily leave a job are not eligible for unemployment. Someone who was terminated for cause (violation of company policy for example) would not be eligible for unemployment insurance. Each application for unemployment is reviewed to determine eligibility based on the specific details of the situation.”

The department told me there are exceptions when it comes to mandating the vaccine. For example, people can request exemptions for medical or religious reasons.

Which is why, the department said each application is reviewed individually, and eligibility for benefits will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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