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…

COVID-19 and WSIB Claim Costs

Public Health Ontario publishes weekly epidemiological summaries regarding COVID-19 in Ontario. The most recent report, published October 7, 2022, noted a gradual increase in case trends and percent positivity over the past three weeks. Current projections suggest that weekly case numbers may continue to rise over the coming weeks.  Given forecasted increases, here is a…

Court Finds that Placing Employee on Unpaid Leave for Failure to Comply with Vaccination Policy was not Constructive Dismissal

In Parmar v Tribe Management Inc., the British Columbia Supreme Court recently found that an employee was not constructively dismissed when she was placed on an unpaid leave of absence for refusing to comply with her employer’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy (Policy). The Court held that the employer’s decision to place the employee on the…

Court Finds ESA-Only Termination Clause Unenforceable Due To Wording of Conflict of Interest and Confidential Information Clauses

In Henderson v. Slavkin et al., the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found that a termination clause in an employment contract which limited entitlements upon termination to only the minimums required by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) was unenforceable due to the wording of the provisions related to “confidential information” and “conflict of interest.”…

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…

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…

Arbitrator Upholds Mandatory Vaccination Policy—Reduced Public Health Measures of No Consequence

In a “bottom line” decision in Extendicare Lynde Creek Retirement Home and United Food & Commercial Workers Canada, Local 175, Arbitrator Raymond upheld the mandatory COVID-19 Immunization Policy (Policy) of a retirement home, finding that the Policy is a reasonable workplace rule and consistent with the collective agreement, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the…