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Many clients are asking about how Federal Vaccination Mandates will affect unemployment, but at this time, we have seen no legislation to support if states governments will or will not provide benefits to employees who separate due to federal mandates.

What we have seen are states taking small steps in that general direction without truly releasing the verdicts.

The state of Washington has had historically strict mandates on vaccinations. In August 2021, Governor Jay Inslee mandated that all Washington State employees would need to be vaccinated by October 18, 2021; this was the first action in Washington regarding the mandating of vaccinations/testing. Inslee’s measures were further supported by President Joe Biden’s announced vaccination/testing mandates for Employers with 100+ Employees and Healthcare Workers, in early September 2021.

On September 21, 2021, Governor Jay Inslee released Emergency Order (EO) CR-103E which mandates:

Inslee’s recent EO is updating WAC 296-800-14035 which states:

“The emergency rule 296-800-14035, ‘2019 Novel coronavirus prohibited business activities and compliance with conditions for operations; effective 9/20/2021 through 1/18/2022.

(1) Where a business activity is prohibited by an emergency proclamation an employer shall not allow employees to perform work.

(2) Employers must comply with all conditions for operation required by emergency proclamation issued under RCW 43.06.220.

(3) An ‘emergency proclamation’ means a proclamation that is in effect, including proclamation amendments and conditions, and issued under RCW 43.06.220 and is in effect at the time the emergency rule was adopted”

As we are seeing these governmental pushes being made, we are expecting that the state of Washington will soon be releasing details into how they will be ruling on unemployment benefits, but for now, we can only speculate on what will happen next.


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