COVID-19 Vaccination

COVID-19 Vaccination: If We Eventually Find a Vaccine For COVID-19, Can My Employer Force Me To Get It?

Daniel Lublin, Partner at Whitten & Lublin Employment lawyers, talked to The Globe and Mail about the requirement of COVID-19 vaccination in the workplace.

Mandatory employee COVID-19 vaccination already occurs in some industries. For example, hospitals and the health care sector require employees and contractors to have up to date vaccinations for specific diseases. Employers in other industries can also create and enforce their own rules and regulations especially on the basis of workplace safety.

Assuming a safe COVID-19 vaccination is established and approved by Health Canada, employers can insist that all employees obtain the vaccination when it becomes available, so long as there are appropriate exemptions based on human rights requirements, such as a medical or religious basis to refuse vaccination.

Second, our governments can create rules that we all have to follow for the greater good. For example, several provinces require proof of immunization for children to attend school. Therefore, if and when a safe vaccine is created, governments could potentially try to compel the vaccination of all citizens. This would be deeply controversial. However, if such a law were created, employers would have to comply with these orders and would have to take steps to ensure that all employees and contractors were vaccinated, subject to exemptions for either medical or religious reasons.

To better understand your entitlements and explore the viability of a claim during these unprecedented times, we encourage employees to seek legal advice. We at Whitten & Lublin are happy to provide insight and advice into your specific circumstances. If you’re looking for employment lawyers and would like more information about what Whitten & Lublin can do for you, please contact us online or by phone at (416) 640-2667 today.