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'It could disqualify them from receiving benefits' | Employees who quit Triad hospitals requiring vaccination ineligible for unemployment

Employees who are let go for not following policy, like the vaccine requirement, would also be ineligible for the benefits.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — This week, healthcare systems in the Triad announced plans to require vaccinations for all employees, as the Delta variant continues to spread and vaccination rates in North Carolina are at a standstill.

Some viewers suggested on social media that medical staff who don't want to be vaccinated should just quit and collect unemployment benefits. But - are they even eligible?

WFMY News 2 dug deeper into this claim - finding that if someone quits his or her job, it's pretty simple: they won't be qualified to get unemployment benefits. 

Chris Rivera, the Executive Director with GuilfordWorks explains. 

"Under normal circumstances, individuals who lose their job or leave their job at no fault of their own would be eligible to collect unemployment benefits here in North Carolina," he said, "However if an individual abandoned the job, i.e. they quit,...it could disqualify them from receiving benefits."

RELATED: The top 5 questions about many NC hospitals' vaccine requirement for employees - answered

What if someone doesn't quit? What if they are let go or fired from their position for not following policy, such as a vaccine mandate?

Rivera says if that's the case, the employer has cause to terminate the worker, and therefore, unemployment is off the table.

"In essence what's happening is, if individuals are denying an order, or a directive from an employer, then they could be terminated for insubordination or with cause. It doesn't make it right, but to the purest and truest letter of the law, that's what it seems like."

Remember, there are two exemptions from the vaccine requirement: Medical and religious beliefs. Those would need to be approved by the employer. Triad hospital systems are working now to make sure all their employees understand this requirement.

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