State News : Canada

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NWCDN Members regularly post articles and summary judgements in workers’ compensations law in your state.  

Select a state from the dropdown menu below to scroll through the state specific archives for updates and opinions on various workers’ compensation laws in your state.

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The retail sale of psilocybin, better known as “magic mushrooms”, has recently received extensive media coverage. Employers across Canada are increasingly wondering how to address the use or simple possession of psilocybin in the workplace. This article answers five recurring questions.

Current situation

Long used by aficionados for their supposed mind-sharpening and other properties, magic mushrooms seem to have sprung out of Canada’s back alleys in recent years.
In Ontario, at least one storefront retailer has set up shop in Ottawa. In Québec, a similar Montréal business received extensive media coverage when it became the target of repeated police searches within hours of opening in summer 2023. Online, the sale of psilocybin for recreational use or micro dosing – low-dose self-medication – is reportedly surging.

While it is illegal to sell, buy or possess psilocybin in Canada, the substance appears to be gaining in popularity. It has even been spotted on billboards in some Canadian cities. As we’ve seen with cannabis, which was normalized before becoming legal, some employees may now wrongly believe that they can legally use or possess magic mushrooms – even in the workplace.

Employer questions about a mushrooming phenomenon

For Canadian employers, it can be difficult to get a good handle on the impact of rising magic mushroom use, let alone detect it. To help, we have compiled five questions to get you on the right track.

1. What are the effects of psilocybin use? 

Magic mushrooms have a chemical composition similar to serotonin, one of our feel-good hormones. They also have hallucinogenic properties.

Health Canada lists a number of effects related to psilocybin use. In the short term, it can cause euphoria and uncontrollable laughter. But it can also cause hallucinations, fear and paranoia. Someone who has taken magic mushrooms may appear confused or disoriented or experience panic attacks.1

The effects generally appear within 15 to 45 minutes of ingestion and last for four to six hours.

Magic mushrooms are usually ingested in solid form (as a tablet or dried and ground up) or infused to make a tea. When in powder form, they can also be snorted. They should never be injected. Doing so can result in a serious medical emergency, since it can cause septic shock and multi-system organ failure.

2. What signs of psilocybin use can be detected in the workplace?

Along with the mood-altering and cognitive effects described above, the physical effects can include light-headedness, spasms or convulsions, sweating, numbness, pupil dilation, loss of coordination and even loss of urinary control. However, these signs are not necessarily specific to psilocybin use.

These effects mean that magic mushroom use is not readily compatible with many jobs, particularly high-risk trades that involve operating precision tools, working at heights or driving motorized vehicles.

No two doses are the same. There are different species of magic mushroom, and effects can even vary between two mushrooms of the same species. Consequently, users cannot easily anticipate the effects based on the dose ingested. Given its long-lasting effects, psilocybin could interfere with an employee’s performance even when taken outside work hours.

In addition, severe intoxication can result from accidentally consuming magic mushroom look-alikes.

No studies have evaluated the long-term effects of extended magic mushroom use. Currently, there is little evidence that consuming hallucinogenic mushrooms can cause physical dependence, but continued use could result in psychological dependence. Many users appear to develop a tolerance to the drug and ramp up consumption to achieve the desired effect.

In contrast, micro dosing involves taking small quantities (about 100 mg, or one tenth of a normal dose) every few days. According to micro dosing proponents, this is not enough to produce the common psychoactive effects, but it does help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

3. How can employers recognize psilocybin products?

These products are typically sold as dried mushrooms. However, since they are consumed in different ways, possession may be hard to detect in the workplace. For example, they can be infused in honey, oil or tea or used as an ingredient in risotto.

4. Does psilocybin have therapeutic effects?

While psilocybin has long been consumed recreationally, its therapeutic use is currently being studied to properly evaluate its potential as a partial treatment for addiction, depression and post-traumatic stress. Clinical trials of such psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies have only been authorized in Canada for a few years and are carried out under strict supervision.

It is therefore not impossible for an employee to be consuming psilocybin as part of a research study into its medical uses.

5. How should employers react to psilocybin’s growing popularity?

To proactively manage the rise of magic mushrooms on the Canadian market, we strongly recommend that employers review their policies on drugs, alcohol and other substances to ensure that workplace possession, use and sale are clearly prohibited. This should apply so long as the substance remains illegal.

Currently, the cultivation, production, possession, purchase and sale of magic mushrooms are illegal. Employers must therefore ensure that employees do not bring such products into the workplace, even if they have no intention of consuming them there.

Employer policies should require any employee or self-employed worker with a medical prescription for psilocybin or cannabis to advise their human resources department as soon as possible. The employer should in turn seek the advice of a health professional to determine whether this substance use is compatible with the employee’s duties. As necessary, the employer could then work with the prescribing professional to prevent the dosage regimen from interfering with work. The employer should also make sure that it poses no risk to the health and safety of the employee or the people around them.

Contact us

If you have any questions regarding this article or how to manage psychoactive substances in the workplace, please do not hesitate to reach out to the author or any member of our Labor and Employment Group.


It has been said that, from the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments in Canada have been focused on getting people back together, while the U.S. has been more focused on keeping people at work. Indeed, in the United States, the Biden administration and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have attempted to enforce very rigid mandatory vaccination policies for businesses with more than 100 employees. In Canada, the federal and provincial governments have not been involved in the issuance of mandatory vaccination policies for private businesses.

Interestingly, at the start of 2022, some governments in Canada have started to take public positions, including the Government of Canada, which has announced a regulation requiring employee vaccination in all federally regulated workplaces that is scheduled to come into effect in 2022. It will be interesting to monitor whether, in the context of several governments beginning to lift restrictions, the regulations will actually come into effect. However, as employers react and decide to rollout their own policies, it is clear that future developments regarding mandatory vaccination policies in Canada will involve more judicial decisions, including challenges before the courts. That is, unless and until clear directives are passed by governments in Canada.

In this regard, an analysis of the situation in Canada, particularly in Québec and Ontario, allows us to offer a few thoughts that companies should have when making a choice regarding the implementation of a mandatory vaccination policy.

Recent court decisions

In Ontario and Québec, the first arbitration decisions on vaccination policies were released in the last few weeks and months. These are, among others, the Union des employés et employées de service, section locale 800, et Services ménagers Roy ltée decision in Québec, as well as the UFCW v Paragon Protection and Power Workers’ Union v Electrical Safety Authority decisions in Ontario, all of which have recently been covered by BLG’s Labour and Employment group.

It is interesting to note that the Electrical Safety Authority decision and, more recently, the Chartwell Housing Reit decision, remain the only ones where the vaccination policies were considered unreasonable. The reasoning behind these decisions should be a further lesson to employers, as it demonstrates that each case will need to be assessed individually and that employers need to show that their policy is “reasonably necessary and involve[s] a proportionate response to a real and demonstrated risk or business needs”, as our coverage of the Electrical Safety Authority decision explores in detail. Also noteworthy: in the Chartwell Housing Reit decision, the fact that the policy automatically provided for the termination of employees who refused to comply with the policy, in particular, was found to be unreasonable by the arbitrator.

Other recent decisions of note are the Bunge Hamilton Canada and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment decisions, which were rendered in Ontario. These decisions confirm some of the early developments seen in other decisions, but also provide some interesting new elements. In both cases, the vaccination policy was upheld by the arbitrator, further demonstrating that it is possible to implement a vaccination policy in a unionized context, in a reasonable and legal manner. In particular, the Bunge Hamilton Canada decision, in conjunction with the Chartwell Housing Reit decision, demonstrates that employers should be careful about including in their policy a provision to the effect that failure to comply with the vaccination requirement will result in termination of employment or other specific disciplinary action. On the other hand, the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment decision provides significant comfort to employers, as the arbitrator relied on the "weight of authority" that endorses mandatory workplace vaccination to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Considerations in designing a mandatory vaccination policy

After reviewing these decisions, as well as taking into account our overview of the situation in British Columbia, we believe there are three issues that employers and legal counsels must consider when designing a mandatory vaccination policy.

1. Does the collective agreement allow for such a policy?

A collective agreement evolves and becomes more complex as the union-management relationship develops. As such, a review of the applicable collective agreement is necessary to ensure that an existing clause in the agreement will not be used by an arbitrator as the basis to overturn the policy.

Such a review is even more important where the clause in question was drafted in general terms, to cover general issues, and not any issue remotely applicable to COVID. Similarly, when adding provisions to a collective agreement, the parties must remain careful, because these added provisions could be used in the future as the basis for an arbitrator to rule against the legality of an employer’s policy. Indeed, general language contained in a collective agreement related to health and safety, fairness or equal treatment of employees are just a few examples of this kind of broad language which could result in a broader interpretation than that intended when such general language was added into the collective agreement.

We saw a glaring example of this in the Paragon Protection decision, where a provision of the collective agreement adopted several years before the 2020 pandemic was decisive in the arbitrator’s finding, as it related to the legality of the vaccination policy at this employer.

2. Should unions afford more protections to fully vaccinated employees, or to those who want the right to choose not to be vaccinated?

This will determine whether a trade union will decide to contest the vaccine policy. Equally true: employers will need to be particularly vigilant and diligent in balancing these two positions. It will necessarily involve a workplace analysis. As we have seen in recent arbitration decisions, the employer will have to justify its policy by taking into account various factors, which include the actual risk of an outbreak in the workplace, the possibility of telecommuting for the workforce, or accommodating employees who refuse the vaccine. The rate of vaccination among employees, if this data is available, will also be important to consider.

This consideration applies equally to unions, which in Québec are subject to a duty of representation under section 47.2 of the Labour Code. Other provinces have similar, if not identical, legislation. Thus, unions will have to weigh the competing interests of their members in the event of a grievance on the issue of contesting vaccination policies.

Although much has been written on this subject of the duty of fair representation and the ability to choose between conflicting issues, the matter remains one where employers or trade unions alike have not been willing to push this to the line. An example of this existing type of quandary for a trade union is the situation where the trade union must choose between representing the supposed harasser who is disciplined in the workplace or defend the rights of the employee harassed, to ensure a workplace that is free from harassment.

Similarly, do the health and safety protections and the obligations imposed on employers to safeguard these protections existing under the laws of the applicable province outweigh the fundamental privacy rights and human freedoms of many of the same employees? This balancing act is neither easy to answer nor determine. However, these questions will not disappear and will require trade unions and employers to deal with these issues, either together at a bargaining table or in front of the applicable tribunal or court. Where the first option is chosen, the parties will need to make sure that the language inserted into the collective agreement does not compromise either party, nor extend beyond the purpose of why such language was added into the agreement.

3. In a non-unionized workplace, whose responsibility is it to protect the employees?

In the context of a global pandemic, we believe that this responsibility cannot rest solely on the employer’s duty of prevention set out in section 51 of the Act respecting Occupational Health and Safety (AOHS) in Québec or, for that matter, any other similar provincial legislation. Workers themselves already have an obligation to "take the necessary measures to ensure their health, safety or physical and psychological integrity" and to "see that they do not endanger the health, safety or physical and psychological well-being of other persons at or near the workplace" under the AOHS.

It is possible that the choice not to be vaccinated (for reasons other than religious or health reasons) could be interpreted as a breach of these obligations, as was the case in Services ménagers Roy. In addition, one must also consider the important role that government plays in managing the pandemic and its consequences on the public, as citizens and employees. Consequently, is the application of government measures, including the implementation of vaccine rollouts, sufficient to ensure the safety of workers, or are other measures necessary, such as mandatory vaccination laws? These are difficult questions to answer and balance.

One size does not fit all

These recent arbitration decisions highlight that each case is a particular situation, and that there is no uniform model applicable to all employers, employees and/or trade unions. Thus, considerations in designing a mandatory vaccination policy must be tailored to each individual case, and we suggest that you contact a member of BLG’s Labour and Employment group to advise you on your particular situation.

Following these initial jurisprudential developments regarding vaccination policies, the debate already seems to focus on more specific issues. It appears necessary to take a step back and consider the fundamental principles of the Canadian occupational health and safety regime, for instance sections 2 and 4 of Québec’s AOHS. These sections stipulate that the law aims to eliminate at the source dangers to the health, safety and physical and psychological well-being of workers, and all employers, employees and trade unions should factor in the public order nature of these provisions. These principles should serve as a starting point for any analysis of the legality of a vaccination policy, particularly when it comes to balancing the rights of vaccinated persons against the rights of non-vaccinated persons. As arbitrator Denis Nadeau stated in Services ménagers Roy, the Charter rights of some employees cannot be used to obscure the occupational health and safety rights of the rest of their colleagues, nor the obligation of employers to take measures to protect the occupational health and safety of their employees.

While this line of case law has been a positive for employers and unions alike, in that all of us are now much better informed of the interpretation to be given to vaccine mandates, the last few weeks have forced us to take a step back and reconsider how applicable this case law is, within the present reality. As previously mentioned, governments all over Canada have started to eliminate the use of vaccine passports, to ease occupancy limits, to eliminate the need for exclusive remote working, and to allow people to slowly get back together. In particular, the Québec CNESST, health and safety division, has set out on their website the following guidelines, among others: “remote work is no longer mandatory and a progressive hybrid return to work is possible and according to the terms decided by the employer and a choice between the wearing of masks or social distancing of two (2) meters or the continued existence of physical barriers.”

Final thoughts

So what does all this mean for employers’ prerogatives, employees’ rights and the future steps that should be taken with regard to the non-vaccinated or partially vaccinated employees? Can employers realistically continue to impose and apply rules which demand to be fully vaccinated, and terminate those employees who refuse or are not willing to complete the vaccination procedures in place? The answer to this question becomes even more complex as governments loosen previous regulations and reshape our understanding of them.

This is the new reality facing employers, looking ahead. The last two years have been a series of turns and twists. The present changing landscape is yet another turn in the road that employers must consider. While some would recommend holding the course, one must consider how arbitrators and the judges of the TAT will decide when faced with the changing legislative landscape. In light of this, employers may well be advised to revisit their existing policies and consider whether to keep the same policies in place, scrap them or just consider their decisions on a situation-by-situation basis.

There is no right answer at the present time but, as always, BLG’s Labour and Employment group will continue to monitor these vaccination policy cases as they proceed through the courts and before grievance arbitrators, and keep you up-to-date with any relevant case law and regulatory items.

Workers’ compensation laws vary in each of the 10 Canadian provinces and 3 territories. Each of the distinct regimes are government-administered within each jurisdiction.  While some mandate coverage to all employers operating in the province or territory, some impose it only within certain industries.

Even though the particularities of the legislation and their corresponding health and safety regulations vary from one province to the next, it is possible to foresee  certain similar issues that will be of interest to all employers as we start this new year.

While we have no crystal ball, we envision that the five following topics will be trending across Canada in 2022:

1.       COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Litigation

The upcoming months will undeniably be filled with contestation of claims relating to COVID-19 as a compensable injury. While the appeals process before the various administrative organisations are now exhausted, we predict a trend of cases behind tried [ not sure what this means ?]. Some of these cases will involve complex medical evidence regarding pre-morbid conditions, in provinces which allow for an associated cost-relief. The months to come will build a foundation for these cases that will need to be monitored closely and will vary from one province to the next. Presumptions integrated into applicable legislation may facilitate the demonstration that a COVID-19 spread in a given community may have in fact be contracted [ at work ?]

2.       Teleworking Workers’ Compensation Litigation and application of OHS rules in this setting

During the pandemic, a large proportion of the workforce was suddenly compelled to work for home, sometimes in inadequate settings. Some employers have  decided not to recall certain employees to their establishment and will keep them in their remote settings on a permanent basis, either on a hybrid mode or on a full-time basis. When injuries occurred in that context, some workers brought compensation claims and the upcoming months will clarify the boundaries applicable to them and the resulting worker entitlements and liabilities/costs for employers.  Given the unique circumstances of the pandemic, existing precedents are simply insufficient to anticipate these rulings. As an example, when an employee logs off their computer, they  are immediately ”off”  of work, unlike in the workplace where they still have to walk to the break room or leave the premises. How will tribunals rule on these claims, where the private and professional sphere of the worker overlap, in an environment over which the employer clearly has no control? Similarly, how far will employers need to improve their control over the worker’s private residence to prevent the risks of injuries? As some provinces are amending their laws or extending their definitions of the workplace, accordingly the balance between the employee’s right to privacy and the employer’s exercise of due diligence in view of preventing compensable injuries will be increasingly challenging to strike. As our view of what is and what is not the “workplace” has changed, so too will the laws regarding this issue.  

3.       Coverage of employees working outside their province of origin

As the pandemic raged on, some workers elected to work remotely outside their “home” province  during ,  some even internationally. Several claims were not recognized under these conditions as being compensable under applicable provincial laws. Case law arising from these claims will be another legacy of the pandemic to be expected this year.

4.       Mandatory Vaccine Policy Challenges

Following the Canadian government’s mandate to have all federally-regulated employers enact a vaccination policy by the end of Fall 2021, several employers have adopted such policies and imposed them on their sub-contractors and  as well. Several provincial governments also imposed on their healthcare sector employees' similar policies, as well as to all subcontractors’ employees entering the premises.  As a result, we may anticipate numerous and varied claims filed by employees who were negatively impacted by these policies to be heard in the upcoming months.


5.       Litigation Surrounding Misclassification or Defective Coverage of Dependant Workers under provincial workers’ compensation regime

With the rise of the gig economy comes unpredictable liability: Some provincial regimes with mandatory coverage require employers to cover their “dependent workers” as if they were regular employees. The conditions applicable to these requirements  vary from one province to the next and we expect that in the  months and years to come  a greater number of verification notices from  workers compensation boards raising these issues. Where applicable this may also give rise to substantial backdated premiums owed by employers.. Close analysis to the regime applicable in the provinces where an employer operates in Canada should be undertaken to evaluate whether this risk is a materi alone. 

Considerations from the legal perspective

As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes more widely available, many employers worldwide have been exploring the idea of mandatory vaccination for employees as a condition of access to the workplace (and a variety of questions related to it). Although employers are eager to move forward with this solution, mandatory vaccine policy may carry important legal implications, depending on where employees live.

Employers may first want to ask themselves a few more questions before taking action, including:

Why do employers want their employees to be vaccinated?

The answer may seem obvious, since governments and the media alike have promoted the vaccine as the ticket back to “normal” life (including the workplace).

Employers may indeed wish to protect the health and safety of their employees by restricting access to the workplace to only fully vaccinated individuals, as it is their statutory duty in all Canadian provinces. However, Canadian employers face a complex issue; they must determine whether the obligation to protect an employee’s health and safety justifies the encroachment upon employees’ privacy and human rights protections under Canadian law. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not obvious. Our neighbours to the South have clearly taken the approach of requiring vaccination as a condition for accessing the workplace in many instances. It may be time to question whether the rise of virus variants and the growing number of cases worldwide will drive our governments in Canada to take a similar approach. We have already seen one province implement a vaccination passport system in anticipation of a fourth wave. As such, people will be required to present their proof of vaccination via the passport system to access certain public spaces and non-essential businesses (not for work purposes). These actions are far-reaching and probably would not even have been even contemplated some three months ago. While this specific government measure does not currently require employers to impose such conditions on their employees, ultimately, there may be more significant support for this kind of proposition in the future. Employers may have to adopt similar measures to uphold and justify their obligation to provide a safe and healthy workplace.

However, this is the question that employers may want to be asking themselves today:

Is mandating vaccination the most efficient way for employers to meet their duties, while mitigating legal risks?

Although mandatory vaccination poses potential legal risks, such as human rights and privacy claims, some employers are willing to move forward with implementing these measures. They would require employees to be fully vaccinated should they want to return to the workplace and engage in specific tasks involving physical contact with the public, clients or business travel. While mandatory vaccination involves risks, other preventive measures can help curb quite effectively the transmission of the COVID-19 virus in workplaces (e.g. offices, retail, etc.) and thus expose employers to fewer risks of a legal challenge. Still, to demonstrate the commitment of certain employers, let us look at some recent developments in the U.S.A. Several major law firms have recently stated that only fully vaccinated employees will have access to their offices. At least one firm declared that employees who are not fully vaccinated would have their access cards to enter the building, and their specific offices, deactivated.

Further, many Fortune 100 and 500 companies have taken the public position that their employees must be vaccinated to work and travel for the company. These actions may again show that employers are taking a bolder approach to their obligation to protect their employees’ health and safety. In the context of the Delta variant and the approach of a 4th wave, the health and national security argument seems to have taken precedence over privacy and human rights protections.

Can this type of approach be adopted in Canada, and if so, when? As this is a quick-moving issue, it is very possible that companies in Canada may take a more aggressive approach if the situation in the fall deteriorates. Businesses will most likely be forced into rolling back their return to office plans due to the Delta variant and its effect on the number of cases. However, companies cannot ignore the realities of the Canadian legal landscape at this time.

Overview of applicable considerations

First, employers with operations outside of Canada may be surprised to discover that imposing vaccinations on employees in Canada is not a widespread practice in our jurisdiction as it may be, for instance, south of the border. This can be explained by the specific legal considerations to contend with when contemplating mandatory vaccination in Canada, such as human rights and privacy laws. The thresholds to meet in Canada are particularly high, and so are the possible legal risks related thereto.

What are the main legal considerations Canadian employers must keep in mind when contemplating requiring vaccination as a condition to access the workplace?


In most Canadian provinces, an employer may collect, use or disclose personal employee information only with their consent and for reasonable purposes.

In order to impose vaccination as a condition to access the workplace, an employer would necessarily need to ask its employees: “Are you vaccinated?”, which would qualify as the collection of personal information. Hence, to do so, not only would employees need to consent to the collection of such information, but employers would need to be able to demonstrate that they are requesting this information for a reasonable purpose. The following are examples of circumstances that, in the event of a legal challenge, our tribunals may potentially consider as a reasonable purpose for the collection of such data in connection with a mandatory vaccination requirement:

  • A very high risk of COVID-19 transmission in the specific workplace of the employer (compared to society at large), due to intrinsic characteristics present at the time the mandatory vaccination policy is in place;
  • The impossibility (or high impracticality) of implementing other less intrusive measures; and
  • The demonstrable inefficacy of other less intrusive measures due to the nature of the work/the workplace.

Even where such circumstances are not present, one may argue that this question is being asked to protect the health and safety of ALL employees and this is not an interference with anyone’s privacy rights. At the present time, the majority view seems to be that this need to protect the employee’s health and safety would not in itself constitute a reasonable purpose. However, this has not been tested and the argument is not only attractive but it is also a very real and plausible one.

Human rights

Vaccination is an invasive medical treatment, a personal decision for which individuals should have the option to consent to or not.

Further, pursuant to federal and provincial human rights legislation, employees may refuse to receive the vaccine based on prohibited grounds of discrimination (which may include, depending on applicable legislation, disability (interpreted to include “medical conditions”), and religion). A mandatory vaccination policy would need to be reasonably justified and necessary, along with other, less invasive measures being insufficient to protect employee health and safety. In addition, it would also need to account for an employers’ obligation to provide reasonable accommodation to employees who refuse to be vaccinated based on such protected grounds, up to the point of undue hardship. Namely, in the province of Québec, this question becomes even more complex as human rights legislation limits employers in even asking job candidates about protected grounds of discrimination, making mandatory vaccination all the more difficult to contemplate and implement. While these are very real concerns, employers may still have arguments to consider.

For example, employers may be able to contest the true continued feasibility of remote work. Are companies really getting the work they require from the employees working from home? Would employers be justified in concluding and arguing that these considerations have now become an instance of undue hardship? While this type of argument may not work in all circumstances, there may be situations where it would prevail. Employers must be consider these types of decisions on a case-by-case basis, a “one size fits allʺ approach does not apply in these circumstances.


While many employers perceive the vaccine as a great tool for medical protection, it is clear that it can also pose a legal threat.

Other options are available which, in the absence of clear science on the vaccine’s efficacy, may well protect the workplace just as efficiently, or even more so. Employers should certainly not rely on the fact that their employees are vaccinated to let sanitary and distancing measures fall to the wayside, especially for employees in areas where these procedures are is still mandatory or recommended.

Ultimately, employers imposing any measure that potentially affects their employees’ rights should be prepared to defend their decisions in case of a legal challenge. To assist them in doing so, they should notably ask themselves the following questions throughout the process:

  • Are the measures imposed necessary and justifiable, given the specific circumstances of our workplace, in light of our business context and reality?
  • Are we using the least intrusive measure possible to reach our goal (in other words, is imposing the vaccine on our employees the most efficient way to avoid the risk of contagion)?
  • Are we complying with all other applicable legislation and up-to-date government/labour board/health authorities’ guidelines?
  • Are we protecting employee privacy at all times?
  • Are we complying with human rights legislation and accommodating employees where necessary (e.g. religious and medical reasons)?

As employees start to return to work in great numbers and employers prepare for the fall, employees will inevitably have questions regarding the future of their workplace. We believe that all employers should seriously consider having a telecommuting or remote work policy to help manage the return to the office, especially with the reduced health measures planned by the various governments. In addition, this approach considers the most effective method to curb the transmission of the virus in your work environment. Despite the legal risks of imposing the vaccine onto employees, some will decide to proceed in this way. We believe that some employers may be justified in doing so, keeping in mind that they are not immune to legal challenges. A well-thought-out plan in preparation for return to work could help employers demonstrate to the court or tribunal that the decision was considered and weighed appropriately before taking action.

If you have any questions regarding mandatory vaccination policy issues in Canada, please contact Katherine Poirier or of the listed BLG contacts.