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NY workers fired for refusing vaccine won't get unemployment insurance

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 9/26/2021 Christopher Eberhart For Dailymail.Com
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New York state workers who are fired for refusing to get vaccinated are not eligible for unemployment insurance, Gov. Kathy Hochul said on Saturday - just two days before the deadline for workers to get the jab. 

New York City teachers and state health care workers in hospitals and nursing homes have to prove that they received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Monday. 

The only exception to the vaccine mandate is a valid, doctor-approved request for medical accommodation.  

The governor made the ramifications clear during Saturday's announcement of a contingency plan to address potential staffing shortages in hospitals and other health care facilities statewide.

Hochul specifically referred to hospital workers, but New York City is bracing for a similar situation, with about 13 percent of roughly 78,000 teachers are currently not vaccinated, an education department official said on Twitter. 

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Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a Thursday press conference that 'thousands and thousands of vaccinated, experienced substitute teachers ready to go' if unvaccinated teachers don't show up for work. 

Union leaders have called on the mayor to push back the deadline and slammed the band-aid approach of deploying substitutes as 'irresponsible.'

'I believe that the mayor thinks that a body is a body — get them in, and we're good,' Mark Cannizzaro, president of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, told Chalkbeat.org. 'That's no way to run a school.'  

But the potential drama was temporarily shelved late Friday night after a federal appeals judge blocked New York City schools from enforcing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. 

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a temporary injunction and referred the case to a three-judge panel an an expedited basis. 

A resolution is expected by the end of the week. 

The number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths in New York City are decreasing, according to the New York City health department.  

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The court case only applies to New York City teachers; state hospital workers still have to prove they've been vaccinated and will lose their unemployment health insurance if they're fired for being unvaccinated.  

Hochul addressed a potential shortage of hospital workers when the mandate goes into effect with a multi-pronged plan to backfill positions. 

As part of the governor's plan, an executive order would be used to declare a state of emergency to increase workforce supply. 

Qualified health care professionals who licensed in other states or countries, recent graduates, retired and formerly practicing health care professionals would be able to practice in New York State. 

Other options include deployment of medically-trained National Guard members, Hochul said.  

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