Resources: COVID-19

  • Court Rules Employment Contract Not Frustrated by COVID-19 Pandemic: Employer Ordered to Pay $64,000 in Damages for Wrongful Dismissal

    September 19, 2023

    by Gabrielle Berron-Styan

    Fanzone v. 516400 B.C. Ltd. o/a Shady Tree Neighbourhood Pub, 2022 BCSC 2089 is the latest decision of the B.C. Supreme Court to consider the doctrine of frustration of contract in the context of a wrongful dismissal claim arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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  • Expiry of Maximum Layoff Period Without Cause Termination: CERB Deducted from Damages

    November 30, 2022

    by Mike Hamata

    Angelo Luna Nicolas was a long­-service employee at the Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver, working as a house-person for 32 years with the hotel. He had a half-page letter confirming his employment, and it did not contain any language limiting or restricting severance or the notice period upon termination.

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  • New Amendments to Paid Sick Leave Under Employment Standards Act

    March 30, 2022

    by Michael R. Kilgallin

    Effective January 1, 2022, the BC government added employer-paid sick leave under BC’s Employment Standards Act (“ESA”). Previous RG updates have covered this topic, please see our articles on November 25, 2021, and January 26, 2022. The BC government announced on Monday, March 28, 2022, that it would introduce further amendments to the ESA paid sick leave.

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  • Mandatory Vaccination Policy Upheld by BC Arbitrator

    March 23, 2022

    by Gabrielle Berron-StyanGraeme McFarlaneAndrew Nicholl

    On March 21, 2022, Arbitrator Somjen upheld a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy in BC Hydro & Power Authority and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 258.

    The employer’s vaccination policy was found to be reasonable, except for language contemplating discipline for non-adherence to the policy. The arbitrator held that the express reference to discipline in the policy was excessive but contemplated that a termination could result at some future time.

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  • Complaint About Mandatory Masking Policy Dismissed

    March 21, 2022

    by Nimrit K. Sian

    In its November 17, 2021 decision in Coelho v. Lululemon Athletica Canada Inc., 2021 BCHRT 156, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) dismissed a human rights complaint filed against Lululemon regarding its COVID-19-related mandatory masking policy.

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  • PHO Order Requires Disclosure of Vaccine Status of Health Care Providers

    March 16, 2022

    by Danny Bernstein

    In October 2021, the Provincial Health Officer ordered health professionals to be vaccinated if they were employed, contracted, or funded to provide services by provincially funded services.  The order, effective October 26, 2021, stated that other health professionals – those working outside provincial funding systems – would be required to be vaccinated at a future date.

    On February 9, 2022, Dr. Henry announced that these other health care providers would have to be vaccinated by March 24, 2022, or cease providing services.

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  • BC Government Implements Changes to COVID-19 Guidelines: Masks, Proof of Vaccination

    March 14, 2022

    by Sandra Guarascio

    On March 10, 2022, the BC provincial government announced certain changes to its COVID-19-related restrictions. As of March 11, the provincial health order requiring face coverings (i.e. masks) was repealed, except as it applies to schools. Other measures announced include an easing of the requirement that faith communities restrict attendance based on vaccination status, and the requirements applying to overnight camps for children and youth.

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  • Don’t Forget to Reactivate Your COVID-19 Safety Plan

    January 27, 2022

    by Alissa DemerseKate Jones

    By now, we are likely all used to the changing guidance in both our personal and professional lives. Therefore, on January 20, 2022, in the wake of Omicron, the fastest spreading strain of the COVID-19 virus, for most employers it likely came as no surprise when Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced a new public order requiring all businesses to implement (or reactivate) a COVID-19 Safety Plan.

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  • Update on Five Paid Sick Days Under Employment Standards Act

    January 26, 2022

    by Michael R. Kilgallin

    The New Year brought employers in British Columbia a requirement to provide their employees with five paid sick (illness or injury) days. Since the requirement came into effect on January 1, 2022, we have been fielding questions about the implementation of the five paid sick days in the workplace. Below we highlight some of our more frequently asked questions.

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  • Arbitrators Consider Vaccination Policies

    December 7, 2021

    by Kate DueckChristopher Munroe

    In the past few weeks, arbitrators have begun to issue decisions considering the reasonableness of COVID-19 vaccination policies in unionized workplaces. The following three decisions out of Ontario provide some key takeaways for employers.

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