Washington State University's highest-paid football coach was fired from his job after he refused to get inoculated.
Nick Rolovich, 42, earned an annual salary of $3.2 million and was midway through a five-year contract worth $15.6 million. The decision to fire Rolovich came on Monday and his four assistants also lost their jobs. Defensive coordinator Jake Dickert will serve as the team's new head coach.
Gov. Jay Inslee gave employees a vaccine deadline
The school said that Rolovich could no longer perform his duties at the school due to Gov. Jay Inslee's requirement that all state workers should be vaccinated.
Inslee also required all state employees and several others to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18 as a condition of employment. Employers are also required to verify their staff's vaccination status.
There are some exemptions for religious and medical reasons in the state of Washington.
Rolovich applied for a religious exemption to prevent him from getting the COVID-19 vaccine but a committee has yet to review his request.
In July, the football coach was also banned from attending the Pac-12 football media in Los Angeles because he wasn't vaccinated.
Washington State University's athletic director's statement
Following his firing, Washington State University's athletic director, Pat Chun released a statement.
"This is a disheartening day for our football program. Our priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of the young men on our team. The leadership on our football team is filled with young men of character, selflessness and resiliency and we are confident these same attributes will help guide this program as we move forward," Chun said via the Huffington Post.
Rolovich's team has had his back throughout the entire ordeal.
Vaccine mandate in Washington one of the strictest
The vaccine mandate in Washington is one of the strictest ever to be imposed in the United States amid the growing number of COVID-19 cases. in the country.
However, not all employees are required to get inoculated even without medical and religious exemptions.
For instance, firefighters and first responders are included in the vaccine mandate but only if they are licensed as an EMT or paramedic by the state or whenever they need to perform medical functions in their line of duty. This means that administrative staff at the local firestations are not required to get vaccinated.
Police officers are not considered as healthcare providers so they are not required to get vaccinated. But in some cases, they could still be included in the mandate based on their employment with a covered entity like the Washington State Patrol, according to King5.
Will fired employees get jobless benefits?
Following the Oct. 18 vaccination deadline, residents of Washington are wondering if those who quit their jobs and those that got fired will receive benefits.
According to The Seattle Times, those that quit their jobs or got fired over the vaccine mandate that worked as government employees, healthcare workers, and others shouldn't count of receiving benefits.
There are a lot of factors to consider before a former employee can receive jobless benefits. But for now, nothing has been finalized yet in Washington.