In Case You Missed It: Key COVID-19 Cases to Date

Our recent FTR Now provided an overview of notable “non-pandemic” legal developments from 2021. In this FTR Now, we provide a round-up of key COVID-19 cases, which include decisions on issues such as wrongful dismissal, mandatory vaccination and human rights. These decisions will be of interest to employers and HR professionals as we move forward into…

Further Details Regarding Ontario’s Move to Modified Step 2 of Roadmap to Reopen

As we previously reported, effective January 5, 2022, all public health units in Ontario have been temporarily moved to modified Rules for Areas in Step 2 of the province’s Roadmap to Reopen. These changes will remain in effect until at least January 26, 2022, subject to “trends in public health and health system indicators.” As a result, all public health units in the province are now subject to the conditions established by O. Reg. 263/20, Rules for Areas in Step 2, as amended by O. Reg. 2/22.

Ontario Reduces Certain Capacity Limits in Light of Omicron Variant

On December 15, 2021, the Ontario government announced that in light of the Omicron variant, it is reducing capacity limits to 50% for the following indoor venues with a usual capacity of 1000 persons or more: facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities entertainment facilities such as concert venues, theatres and cinemas racing venues…

Ontario Announces Further Extension of Paid and Deemed Infectious Disease Emergency Leaves

On December 7, 2021, the Ontario government announced that it would be extending the program that provides eligible employees with up to three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave (Paid IDEL) until July 31, 2022 (previously set to expire December 31, 2021). The government also announced that it would be extending the temporary relief…

Federal Government Announces COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Federally Regulated Workplaces

On December 7, 2021, the federal government announced that it will propose regulations under Part II of the Canada Labour Code to make vaccination against COVID-19 mandatory in all federally regulated workplaces. The government stated that it will be consulting with key stakeholders on these new regulations, which it anticipates will come into force in…

Federal Government Tables New COVID-19 Leaves Under the Canada Labour Code

On November 24, 2021, the federal government tabled Bill C-2, An Act to provide further support in response to COVID-19. Among other things, if passed, Bill C-2 would reintroduce COVID-19 leaves of absence (repealed on November 20, 2021), as amended, under the Canada Labour Code (Code). Under Bill C-2, the new COVID-19 leaves would provide:…

Court Denies Injunction Motions and Allows Mandatory Vaccination Policies to be Implemented

The Ontario Superior Court has refused to stay the implementation of two mandatory workplace COVID-19 vaccination policies, pending the outcome of grievance arbitrations challenging the validity of those policies. On November 20, 2021, the Court rendered its decision in Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113 et al v. Toronto Transit Commission and National Organized Workers Union…

Ministry Issues Updated Directive for Vaccination Requirements in Long-Term Care Homes

On November 4, 2021, the Minister of Long-Term Care issued an updated Long-term care home COVID-19 immunization policy directive (Directive). The Directive is effective as of November 4, 2021 and replaces the previous version dated October 1, 2021, which we covered in our HR HealthCheck of October 13, 2021. Under the Directive, every licensee of…

Arbitrator Finds Mandatory Vaccination Policy to be Unreasonable

In this FTR Now, we review the arbitration award issued on November 11, 2021 by Arbitrator John Stout in Electrical Safety Authority and Power Workers’ Union, in which he assessed the reasonableness of an employer’s mandatory vaccination policy. In the specific context of the workplace, and its associated workplace dangers and hazards arising from COVID-19…