The Effects of Unemployment Due to the Vaccine Mandate
Each year, employees get laid off due to their company cutting costs, reducing staff, relocating, being bought out, or partaking in a merger. However, in 2022, workers have to face a new obstacle that endangers their job: the Covid-19 vaccine. Workers across America have expressed their concerns and disagreement with the requirement to be immunized. Many feel as though they have the right to refuse the vaccine if that’s what they chose.
In February of 2022, over 1,400 government workers were fired by Mayor Eric Adams in New York City. This number included 36 NYPD personnel, 25 Fire Department workers, and 914 Department of Education staffers. This number was significantly reduced from the original estimation of 4,000 workers being on the chopping block, however, the number of employees fired was still immense.
In the grand scheme of things, within the workplace the number of employees being let go might be a small fraction, yet, it adds to thousands in each state out of a job. Employees who refused the vaccine are ineligible to receive unemployment insurance without a doctor-approved request for medical accommodation. These employees have technically been fired for misconduct for not following company policy, leaving them denied the financial aid that unemployment insurance provides.
Becky Melcer, a woman who worked as a scheduler at the Houston Methodist hospital system, was let go just six years shy of her 15-year mark with the hospital. She loved her job and had planned to stay there until she retired, “It was a career she was proud of. She had expected to retire from Houston Methodist in another six years or so.” After being denied unemployment insurance, Becky tried applying for jobs at other hospitals but she yet again ran into the vaccine requirement. At 59, Becky had to make a career change into customer service and real estate.
Unemployment can affect familial relationships and cause individuals to face mental health problems. Studies have shown that unemployment has increased a person’s risk of developing depressive symptoms. An unemployed person has significantly fewer good mental health days than an employed person.
Unemployment can truly take a great toll on any individual. Those who are unemployed have to rely on their savings or borrowed money to take care of food and living expenses. Individuals who were the primary worker in their family not only have to face the challenge of taking care of themselves but also taking care of their families. Unemployment can have a great effect on an individual’s physical as well as mental health. According to Indeed.com, “Being unemployed is a highly stressful situation, so it may cause stress-related health issues such as headaches, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, back pain, and insomnia.”
To conclude, masses of workers have been fired for refusing the vaccine, and the masses who are now unemployed could be facing drastic obstacles ranging from denied financial support to poor mental and physical health. Companies and organizations looking to implement a vaccine requirement should consider the impact on the workers and their business before doing so.