Jul 16, 2021
With Ontario entering Step 3 of its reopening plan, allowing certain businesses like restaurants and gyms to resume indoor activities, employers, employees and customers have pressing questions about vaccination policies in those establishments. Some businesses, including Toronto’s Filmores Gentleman’s Club, are advertising that their staff are fully vaccinated and have stated they will ask customers to confirm the same before entry. Though some have received criticism for posting vaccination requirements or even offering discounts to vaccinated customers, a recent poll indicates that most Canadians would be more likely to visit a business if staff and customers had to prove their vaccination status.
The Toronto Star’s Omar Mosleh spoke with Adam LaRoche, an associate in Osler’s Employment and Labour and Privacy and Data Management groups, about the legal implications of businesses’ vaccination requirements.
Adam says while there is no specific law allowing employers to mandate that their employees get vaccinated, there is no straightforward answer.
“Compelling an employee to disclose their vaccination status may be reasonable in some workplaces. I think anywhere that you’ve seen a documented outbreak or whether there’s an established kind of issue of managing COVID in a given industry, you have a good argument,” Adam explains, mentioning long-term-care homes but also potentially restaurants as examples.
“You’re going to see more businesses who are going to be taking a proactive approach, either disclosing employee vaccination status or requiring customers to affirm or prove that they are also fully vaccinated. And the ability of businesses to do that is still subject to privacy and human rights law.”
For more information, read Omar Mosleh’s full article, “A Toronto strip club is making vaccinations mandatory for staff and customers. Should businesses have to answer to that?” on the Toronto Star website.