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San Diego workers fired for not being vaccinated aren't eligible for unemployment

San Diego Legal Analyst Dan Eaton says if workers are fired for not getting vaccinated, they will not qualify for unemployment benefits.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Richard Fiorentino lives in San Diego and he is vaccinated. 

"I thought it was wise to get it done. I feel safer," said Fiorentino.

While San Diegan, Rey Vinole is not vaccinated. 

"I think it's my body, my choice," said Vinole.

San Diego Legal Analyst Dan Eaton says if workers are fired for not getting vaccinated, they will not qualify for unemployment benefits.

"Wow! Isn't that crazy?" asks Vinole.

"Basically across the board, if you engage in misconduct or if you violate an employer rule, you are not eligible for unemployment benefits. It is a violation of employer mandate which makes you ineligible for unemployment benefits that you would otherwise be entitled," said Eaton.

However he says there are exceptions. 

"Generally, there are accepted exceptions to mandates. One is medical or disability that makes getting vaccinated unwarranted, or religious beliefs that clashes with the mandatory vaccination," says Eaton.

"At first, I was thinking it’s the right of the company to create their own policy," said Fiorentino. 

Yet, Fiorentino believes this is unfair.

"I think the state should pay for the unemployment benefits even if they don’t get vaccinated because it’s the right of the individual. It's what our country is about, the rights of an individual," said Fiorentino.

Eaton has advice for those working in California.

"If you are fired for not getting vaccinated, my advice is to look for an employer that doesn’t require you to get vaccinated and go from there," says Eaton.

WATCH RELATED: Some San Diego business owners say they would oppose vaccine mandate for patrons (October 2021)