Union Request for Stay of Vaccination Policy Is Denied

On January 12, 2022, Arbitrator Randy Noonan issued an award declining to grant applications for interim relief by three unions. The unions’ applications sought to stay the application of the City of Richmond’s mandatory vaccination disclosure policy pending a decision on the merits of the unions’ respective policy grievances. The Arbitrator ultimately concluded that, for … Continued

BC Human Rights Tribunal Dismisses Masking Complaint

On August 19, 2021, the BC Human Rights Tribunal issued its first decision considering an application to dismiss a complaint of discrimination arising from a mandatory mask policy. This decision is of particular relevance to businesses and employers facing mask-wearing complaints, and who may be considering applying to dismiss those complaints. The Decision In Rael … Continued

Paid COVID-19 vaccine leave receives royal assent

On April 27, 2021, Bill 3: Leave for COVID-19 Vaccination received royal assent. As we first reported, this legislation was introduced on April 19, 2021, with the intention of amending the Employment Standards Act to provide employees up to three hours of paid leave from work to receive each dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Bill … Continued

BC proposes paid vaccine leave

On April 19, 2021 the BC government announced it has introduced Bill 3 which if passed would amend the Employment Standards Act to provide full-time and part-time workers with up to three hours of paid leave to get each dose of their COVID-19 vaccine.  A press release announcing the introduction of Bill 3 is accessible … Continued

BC’s new Expedited Workplace Closure Order

Effective April 12, 2021, the BC Provincial Health Offer delegated to WorkSafeBC the power under the Public Health Act to serve temporary closure orders on workplaces with known COVID-19 outbreaks, where the medical health officer reasonably believes one or more persons have been infected by COVID-19. A copy of the PHO’s April 11, 2021 delegation … Continued

Mandatory mask policies: The BC Human Rights Tribunal weighs in

On March 31, 2021 and April 8, 2021, the BC Human Rights Tribunal issued decisions dismissing discrimination complaints arising from mandatory mask policies. These decisions will be of particular relevance to businesses and employers facing mask-wearing complaints from members of the public or their employees. Medical Exemptions for Retail Customers In The Customer v. The … Continued

New job protected leave for COVID-19 vaccination

On April 1, 2021, the British Columbia government announced changes to the Employment Standards Regulation, B.C. Reg. 396/95 (the “Regulation”) which extend the existing “COVID-19 Leave” protections in the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”) to include two additional pandemic-related circumstances, including COVID-19 vaccination. In March 2020, the BC ESA was amended to allow employees to take … Continued

New order requires face coverings in indoor public spaces

On November 24, 2020, BC’s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General issued Ministerial Order No. 425, which requires the use of face coverings in indoor public spaces. The Minister has broadly defined “indoor public space” to include the following: retail businesses; service businesses; restaurants, pubs, bars or other business that prepare and sell food … Continued

Family status accommodation during COVID-19

Some of our clients have started seeing an increase in requests from employees for accommodation of family obligations as a result of COVID-19. While some requests may trigger an employer’s legal duty to accommodate from a human rights perspective, not all of them will. In this article, we provide some guidance to employers on the … Continued