The pandemic has led to massive lay-offs, economic instability and workers fearful for their financial future. Changes in laws, mandates and workplace policies can add to the confusion and anxiety many are facing on the job. With mandatory vaccine policies being rolled out in workplaces across the country, lawyers are being inundated with questions about workers’ rights.
Many employees are seeking clarity regarding human rights and medical exemptions, says Bram A. Lecker, an employment lawyer and founder of Toronto-based law firm, Lecker & Associates. He cautions that it would be very difficult to prove a religious exemption, adding the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario’s policies does not support those exemptions at this time. “However, medical exemptions could be related to allergies, negative reactions to a COVID-19 vaccine or myocarditis and would need to be accommodated by the employer without termination,” said Lecker.