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

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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.