(Madison)- Main Street Alliance of Wisconsin and our 100+ Small Business Members strongly oppose efforts that were reported on yesterday by AJ Bayatpour and others to grant unemployment insurance to employees who quit from businesses or organizations requiring the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment.
After spending the better part of the past 6 months scapegoating enhanced unemployment insurance and workers across our state for labor shortages in some industries the legislative majority finally found a reason to support the program: to make it harder to recover from the pandemic.
This effort, led by Rep. Rob Brooks (R-Saukville), Rep. Dan Knodl (R-Germantown), Rep. Rick Gundrum (R-Slinger), and Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Cedarburg) should stop now instead of wasting valuable time to get things done for Main Street businesses, workers and communities across our state.
The best thing that can done to help address labor shortages and help small business is to increase vaccination rates. Gusto recently completed a study entitled “Hiring Trends as Enhanced Unemployment Insurance Benefits Expire: Evidence from High-Frequency Small Business Data”.
And what were their findings?
The authors conclude:
“Ending enhanced Unemployment Insurance provisions is likely not the silver bullet to speeding up this economic recovery, and policymakers would be better-served by focusing on achieving higher vaccination rates and ensuring schools and child care centers can re-open in a safe and timely manner—particularly because these enhanced UI provisions are set to end for all states in several weeks.” (Hiring Trends as Enhanced Unemployment Insurance Benefits Expire: Evidence from High-Frequency Small Business Data)
We urge the legislature to stop this quixotic effort and, should it come to it, we urge the Governor to veto this legislation.