Ontario Divisional Court Finds Group Living Home Did Not Discriminate Against Disabled Resident by Enforcing a No Visitor Policy During the COVID-19 Outbreak

On September 22, 2022, the Ontario Divisional Court (Court) released Empower Simcoe v. JL, in which the Court set aside decisions of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (Tribunal). The Court held that Empower Simcoe’s COVID-19 visitor policy (Policy), which temporarily limited visits to essential personnel and was later updated to allow outdoor family visits…

Ontario Makes Changes to COVID-19 Requirements in Long-Term Care Homes

Effective October 14, 2022, Ontario has made a number of changes to COVID-19 requirements in long-term care homes (LTC Homes), as set out in the document titled “COVID-19 guidance document for long-term care homes in Ontario.” Active screening for COVID-19 is no longer required when visitors and caregivers are entering a facility (although it remains…

Arbitrator Finds Three-Dose Mandatory Vaccination Requirement Reasonable in Long-Term Care Homes

In Regional Municipality of York v Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 905 (Long Term Care Unit), Arbitrator Stephen Raymond found that a mandatory vaccination policy (Policy) which required long-term care home employees to receive three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine was reasonable. The employer, the Regional Municipality of York, operates two long-term care homes….

Arbitrator Upholds Mandatory Vaccination Policy but Finds Enforcement Mechanisms (Suspension and Termination) Unreasonable

On August 26, 2022, Arbitrator Derek Rogers released Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association, I.A.A.F. Local 3888 and City of Toronto in which he considered the reasonableness of the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy (Policy) of the City of Toronto (City). The Arbitrator found that the Policy itself was, and remains, reasonable. However, he found that the…

Arbitrator Finds University’s Vaccination Policy to be Reasonable

On July 22, 2022, Arbitrator Wright released a preliminary award, Wilfrid Laurier University v United Food and Commercial Workers Union, in which he found that the University’s mandatory vaccination policy (Policy) was reasonable. In so finding, he cited the fact that the University implemented the Policy in accordance with the instructions and advice issued by…

Employers Take Note: Changes to the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave

Employers should be aware of imminent changes to an employee’s entitlements to the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL), made under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 21, 2022, the Ontario government announced that it is extending entitlement to the three days of paid IDEL (Paid IDEL) for…

Arbitrator Finds Grievor was Prima Facie Discriminated Against when Employer Denied her Requested Exemption to the COVID-19 Vaccine

In Public Health Sudbury & Districts v. Ontario Nurses’ Association, Arbitrator Robert Herman accepted that an employee may be entitled to an exemption from an employer’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy on the basis of creed where they held a sincere belief that the relationship between the COVID-19 vaccines and fetal cell lines was contrary to…

Federal Government Suspends COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for Certain Travel, and Federal Sector Employees

On June 14, 2022, the federal government announced that as of June 20, 2022, it will suspend vaccination requirements for domestic and outbound travel, federally regulated transportation sectors and federal government employees. (For details about the federal government’s vaccine mandate which was originally introduced in October 2021, see our FTR Now of October 7, 2021,…