Vaccine Status and Wrongful Dismissalsachkarlaw-admin
The world saw the disaster of the coronavirus and how just a little bit of carelessness can end up in a global pandemic. The only way to stop the spread of this deadly virus is to practice social distance and get vaccinated.
During the pandemic, the hospitals were not the only place facing a surge in cases. Meanwhile employment lawyers were dealing with increasing cases of wrongful dismissals by the employers. The reason was that the employees were not getting vaccinate without any proper medical reason.
But is it lawful? Can a company legally dismiss an employee base on their vaccination status? Here is everything you need to know about the current vaccine requirement for workplaces and whether it is legal to terminate or dismiss an employee on that basis.
This termination either breaches the employment contract or employment laws of the province.
It happens when an employer terminates an employee without any previous notification or less notice period than mention in the contract. It is different from unfair dismissal, which directly breaks the laws of a state.
Reasons for Wrongful Dismissal
Any termination that breaks the job contract or general employment laws of a state is count as wrongful dismissals. Some of the most common reasons for wrongful dismissals are:
- Reporting of unlawful policies of the employer
- Refusal to perform an illegal act
- Going against the company’s policies
One of the most current reasons for wrongful dismissals is the COVID-19 vaccination status of a person.
Current State of Vaccine Requirement
The province of Ontario has strictly regulate laws with regard to vaccination. Therefore, as of current times, the province has not made it a mandatory task for employees to receive a vaccination shot in order to keep their employment.
There were times when organizations had to impose vaccination upon their employees. Some laws state that an employee might be at the risk of losing their job if they did not get vaccinate.
This step was taken for the security of those employees and the rest of the nation to put a stop to the massive COVID-19 spread as much as possible.
So, the requirement for them to get vaccinate is to prevent the spread of any disease. Moreover, the law for care workers to get vaccinate was also revoke as of the 14th of March, 2022.
Furthermore, organizations like offices, shopping malls, or restaurants do not require people to show proof of vaccination in order to enter the premises. Citizens that have receive their shot can also download digital proof of vaccination through the vaccination app.
How Failing to be Vaccinated Could Lead to Terminations
This contagious disease could kill you or land you in an emergency room within just a few days of contraction. Therefore, it was important to make vaccination necessary for the safety of employees.
Before March 2022, it was also require by the law to get the vaccination done. Failure to do so can land the employee in trouble.
If an employee did not have their vaccination card, it could lead to their termination. These cases were common at the peak of the COVID outbreak. Even the federal government employees were ask to get a mandatory vaccination done in order to retain their job.
The reason behind these terminations was only to protect other employees and stop the spread of coronavirus. Each employee has to be responsible enough to stop the spread, or else they could lose their job.
In case they have a severe medical condition that prevents them from getting vaccinate, the business has to make suitable adjustments for them.
Wrongful Dismissals of Unvaccinated Employees and Entitlements
Now that COVID vaccines are not mandatory in Ontario, employers can not have blanket policies that mandate the vaccination to retain or get a job. If an employer is found doing that, it will be consider illegal on a provincial level.
The employee has all the right to file a lawsuit against the employer or the company in case of wrongful dismissal. Even though, before March 2022, employers had the right to terminate using Code M if they had clearly explain their vaccination policies beforehand.
However, the company will have to provide severance pay if they terminate an employee against their contract. This will provide the employees with the money to pay their expenses in between the jobs.
Termination of Health and Safety Sensitive Positions
If an employee is in a safety or health-sensitive position where their and other employees’ safety are their responsibility, there are different termination laws for them. A person is in a sensitive position like nursing or care work, they have to disclose their vaccination status.
If an employee hides their vaccination status or the fact that they have contract COVID-19, the company can potentially terminate them for cause.
The employer has the right to mandate vaccination according to Ontario’s law and for the safety of the workspace.
The coronavirus has change the entire corporate system globally. Not only did the world adjust to a work-from-home schedule, but the rules and regulations of the workplaces also saw a major shift.
However, COVID-19 vaccinations are not mandatory anymore and companies cannot fire an employee on the basis of their vaccination status. Yet, several employers are still wrongfully terminating people base on this term.
This is where an employment lawyer comes to the rescue. If there are any unlawful policies regarding vaccination in your workplace, employees have all the right to file a lawsuit and take the case to the court.