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There won't be unemployment checks for Maine health care workers who refuse a COVID vaccine

protest vax mandate.jpg
Alexander MacDougall / Houlton Pioneer Times
via the Bangor Daily News
Billie Jo Davis, right, and her son Waylon protest at Monument Park in Houlton against the vaccine mandate for Maine Healthcare Workers.

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine health care workers who are not yet fully vaccinated ahead of the deadline at month’s end shouldn't count on unemployment benefits as a safety net.

The Maine Department of Labor said Thursday that refusing to comply with an employer’s policies, including a health or safety policy, typically disqualifies a person from benefits.

Already, a small number of workers have quit rather than be vaccinated ahead of the deadline at month’s end. There’s a medical exemption but not religious or philosophical exemptions.