BCSC Holds That Putting Non Compliant Employee on Leave for Violating Vaccine Mandate is NOT a Constructive Dismissal :

In Parmar v. Tribe Management Inc., ( 2022 BCSC 1675) Justice MacNaughton ruled that a mandatory vaccine policy introduced in October of 2021 was reasonable and that on an objective basis a reasonable employee would not have considered the policy as a substantial imposition of an essential term of the agreement.

This case is definitely worth reading in its entirety, but here are some interesting highlights:

1. The Defendant was not intending to terminate the employment for she could return to work at any time as long as she was vaccinated.

2. The Court took judicial notice both of the effect of the pandemic and the safety and utility of the vaccine.

3. The plaintiff was the only one of the 200 employees who refused. This alone was evidence of the objective basis that the policy was not unreasonable .

4. While it is extraordinary for an employer policy to affect one’s bodily integrity, given the the extraordinary challenges of COVID, the policy was reasonable.

5. The plaintiff was not being forced to vaccinate, rather she was simply forced to make a difficult decision, vaccinate and work vs don’t vaccinate and don’t work.

This would appear to be the first civil case on this issue. Of note is that the Judge referred to numerous labour arbitration cases on these issues. Of course the Judge was not obligated to follow these arbitration cases, but clearly the Judge was influenced by them as they were the first to deal with this novel issue .

If you like a copy of this case. email me at barry@barryfisher.ca

For my date availability for a mediation go to www.barryfisher.ca