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What To Do If You Have Been Terminated Due to the Vaccine Mandate

Posted:  Oct 18, 2021

As one of the most important aspects in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, increased vaccination rates in British Columbia and beyond are linked to dramatically decreased hospitalizations and deaths associated with the disease. All approved COVID-19 vaccines in Canada are safe to use and significantly reduce the spread of the disease. Being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 also markedly decreases the chance of experiencing severe outcomes like lengthy hospitalization or death. 


Although the vast majority of Canadians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, there is still a sizeable minority who have not due to health reasons or personal preferences. These unvaccinated individuals have been affected by some of the recent measures adopted across Canada designed to curb the spread of COVID-19. Many employers, including the federal government, have established vaccination requirements for their employees. In many cases, those who elect to remain unvaccinated have lost their jobs. 


Those who have lost their jobs due to being unvaccinated have few legal recourses. Employees that have been terminated for refusing to be vaccinated will most likely not receive severance pay. Any attempts to sue employers may be unsuccessful as the courts are likely to see mandatory vaccinations as something done for the greater good of society.  


Unvaccinated individuals who are able to work from home are not immune from terminations either. If unvaccinated employees refuse to work in-person when directed to do so by their employer they effectively abandon their jobs - and consequently are ineligible for compensation. 


Employees who insist on working from home to avoid being vaccinated could also lose their jobs. In theory, religious exemptions are possible when it comes to avoiding losing a job for being unvaccinated - however, no major religions in Canada oppose vaccinations as a general rule. 


It’s important to note that those with a legitimate and verifiable medical reason for not receiving a vaccine - namely a severe, dangerous reaction toward the components of the vaccine or inflammation of the heart - are not required to be vaccinated. These individuals must have medical proof and/or documentation to prove this. Individuals who have been unfairly terminated for not being vaccinated due to legitimate medical reasons may be able to receive compensation. If you or a loved one has been unfairly terminated for these reasons, we recommend speaking to your lawyer - they will be able to provide you with clarity and expertise on what to do next. 


Based in Parksville on beautiful Vancouver Island, at Stevens & Company Law our team of lawyers and legal professionals can provide you with clarity and expertise on your legal concerns. For further information on our legal services, including corporate law, estate law, First Nations law and more, contact us today by calling us at 250-248-8220 or emailing us at sam@stevenslaw.ca to arrange your appointment.


 

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