Resources: COVID-19

  • Opposing Government Rules Regarding Vaccination “Could Be” a Political Belief Under the Code

    September 14, 2021

    by Jennifer DevinsJaime H. Hoopes

    On September 10, 2021, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal issued a screening decision dismissing a class complaint of discrimination in employment on the basis of political belief.

    In Complainant obo Class of Persons v. John Horgan, 2021 BCHRT 120, the Tribunal exercised its discretion to dismiss the complaint at the initial screening stage, finding that the facts alleged did not amount to a contravention of the BC Human Rights Code (“Code”).

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  • BC’s New “Vaccine Card” – What Do Employers Need to Know?

    September 8, 2021

    by Keri L. BennettKatelin Dueck

    Vaccine passports have been a hot topic in recent weeks as the federal and provincial governments announce new requirements to access certain services.

    On September 7, 2021 the Province and the Public Health Officer provided new information for businesses on the roll out of BC’s version of a “vaccine passport”, the “BC Vaccine Card”.

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  • Vaccination Status and the “New Normal”

    August 13, 2021

    by Keri L. BennettDrew DemerseChristopher Munroe

    As governments and businesses seek to avoid closures that have so heavily impacted the economy and everyday life, many are looking to vaccine passports and/or considering mandatory vaccination in the workplace to facilitate a return to “normal” operations.

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  • The BC Human Rights Commissioner Weighs in on Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policies

    August 6, 2021

    by Sarah BlancoChristopher Munroe

    As vaccination rates increase, and the province continues to progress through each phase of its reopening plan, one of the biggest questions facing employers is whether to implement a mandatory vaccination policy for employees and, in some cases, customers. This is a complex and highly context-specific question that engages human rights issues, privacy issues, and workplace safety considerations.

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  • COVID-19-Related Misconduct is Nothing to Sneeze At

    July 29, 2021

    by Rebecca Klass

    In a decision issued on May 10, 2021[1], Arbitrator Paul Love dismissed a discipline grievance related to COVID-19-related misconduct.  The discipline was issued at a time when, in the words of the arbitrator, “there was a dearth of arbitral jurisprudence” with respect to such misconduct.

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  • COVID-19 Case Round-Up

    July 2, 2021

    by Christopher Munroe

    As increasing vaccination rates signal the possible end of the pandemic, legal cases are beginning to work their way through Canadian courts and tribunals.  This article summarizes a few of the recent and important cases considering pandemic-related labour and employment issues.

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  • The Very Serious Employment Consequences of Breaching COVID-19 Safety Protocols

    June 7, 2021

    by James D. Kondopulos

    The problems and challenges which the COVID-19 pandemic has created for employers are significant. It is encouraging to see third-party decision-makers doing what is in the public interest and providing support to employers as they try to uphold COVID-19 safety protocols in their workplaces. At least two arbitration cases out of Ontario have upheld the discharge of employees who chose to disregard the COVID-19 rules and policies of their respective employers. [1]

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  • COVID-19 Vaccine Passport versus the Right to Privacy

    June 4, 2021

    by Keri L. Bennett

    As B.C. plans a hopeful reopening, many major decisions are still on the horizon to help return Canadians back to “normal life.” One significant consideration is the implementation and use of a COVID-19 vaccine passport. In a joint statement on May 19, 2021 by the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Privacy Commissioners (the “Joint Privacy Statement”), they urged the government to keep privacy concerns front of mind when evaluating a COVID-19 vaccine passport.

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  • Paid COVID-19 Leave Now, and Paid Sick Leave in 2022

    May 28, 2021

    by Michael R. Kilgallin

    Bill 13 Employment Standards Amendment Act (No. 2), 2021 (“Bill 13”) received Royal Assent on May 20, 2021. Bill 13 is an amendment to the British Columbia Employment Standards Act (the “ESA”) and does two things:

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  • WorkSafeBC Decisions Provide Clarification Regarding Employer Actions Related to COVID-19 Safety

    April 29, 2021

    by Justin D. Wong

    Two recent WorkSafeBC cases provide guidance regarding unacceptable worker actions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and related health and safety issues. Both cases dealt with prohibited action complaints brought by a dismissed worker against a former employer under sections 47 to 50 of the B.C. Workers Compensation Act.

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