Non-medical exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines pose challenges for Canada's human-rights commissions – The Globe and Mail

Paula Trattner

Dec 4, 2021

With little precedent for cases involving vaccine mandates and non-medical exemptions, legal challenges can be expected to be brought forward by some individuals, such as those who get fired for not complying with an employer’s vaccination mandate, Osler’s Paula Trattner, partner, Litigation, told The Globe and Mail when interviewed by reporter Carly Weeks.

Canadian law protects an individual’s freedom of religion or belief, but those are subject to reasonable limits. Paula and other legal experts say that, in the context of a public health crisis, such limits could include denying an employee’s request to refuse vaccination as that decision could put others at risk.

Paula has been advising many Ontario hospitals in the creation of vaccination mandates and she says many are not providing accommodation for individuals requesting non-medical exemptions.

Canadian human rights commissions have experienced a surge in calls and complaints associated with vaccine mandates, prompting new questions about how, or if, human resources offices should accommodate those who refuse vaccines for non-medical reasons.

Read the full article by author Carly Weeks published on December 4, 2021