Unless the employer is disregarding health guidelines, fear of contracting illness in the workplace is not a valid reason to refuse to work and expect to be paid for it indefinitely.
We sympathize with 70-year-old liquor store worker Bob Walker of Grafton. His chronic conditions and age appear to place him square in the group of people most at risk in the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Walker shouldn’t expect the state to hold a position open for him indefinitely while it pays him unemployment compensation.
This is of a piece with Democrats in the state Senate pushing legislation that would expand unemployment benefits and extend them indefinitely with the virus as the wedge.
Walker says he won’t return to his job until a vaccine is available and even then he is not sure he will want to. That’s his choice. If he does decide to seek work in the future, there are so many New Hampshire companies desperate for workers that we expect he won’t lack for employment opportunities.
Perhaps he could be a Manchester school crossing guard.
The City of Manchester apparently expects crossing guards to be paid even when the schools are closed in a pandemic.
Mayor Joyce Craig was in classic doubletalk mode last week, with a side of passing-the-buck. Asked by fellow school board members why the city was billing the district for this, Craig said that it was up to the school board to decide whether to pay the bill the city sent it on behalf of the police department. The police are in charge of providing the crossing guards.
Really? The mayor couldn’t have directed the city to notify the school board that, due to services not rendered, there would be no bill?
Buy this isn’t altogether surprising, given the mayor’s reluctance to lay off other city employees whose work was curtailed by the virus.