My 21 year old daughter chooses not to be Covid jabbed because of health choices. Where she works she has to wear a mask

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Customer: My 21 year old daughter chooses not to be Covid jabbed because of health choices. Where she works she has to wear a mask cause she isn’t vaccinated. Isn’t that discrimination? A version of black mail. It’s in Alberta.
JA: Has the daughter discussed this discrimination issue with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: No not yet since new to company
JA: Is the workplace "at will" or union? Is the job hourly or salaried?
Customer: plus they said they will take people’s word they are vaccinated but may ask for proof.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: It’s planet fitness, I believe, in Leduc. Hourly with part time hours. She’s a university student as well
Answered by Thom, LLB (JD) in 6 mins 1 year ago
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Thom, LLB (JD)
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Thom, LLB (JD)
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Thom, LLB (JD)
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Thom, LLB (JD), Expert

and thank you for using JustAnswer.  My name is Thom will be assisting you with your question.

Just a general disclaimer that this conversation is for informational purposes only. I am a licensed Canadian lawyer; however, you would need to retain a lawyer to take any legal action and/or preserve any of your legal rights. I may be away from my desk from time to time, but rest assured I will always return back as soon as possible.

What is the nature of your daughter's work?

Customer
She greets clients and gives tours to new clients.
Customer
Cleaning possibly etc
Customer
At a gym
Customer
They say for now they will take people's word they are vaccinated but in future may ask for proof
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Thom, LLB (JD), Expert

This is difficult and will become a common question as we move out of the pandemic.

Unvaccinated workers returning to the workplace could be required to continue wearing masks, steer clear of common areas and face a staggered workday or may even be asked to stay home, (an option that is clearly not available to your daughter).  As workplaces begin to reopen, employers are grappling with how to keep all workers safe including those who are unvaccinated.   Itis, after all, the employer's obligation to ensure a safe workplace for all.

It’s a situation that risks stigmatizing vaccine holdouts and potentially triggering workplace anxiety for some.

Some employers may create incentives to encourage workers to get immunized against COVID-19, such as paid time off for inoculations and prizes like gift cards and company swag after a shot.   Others may consider policies that make vaccination a necessary condition of employment that could see workers who choose not to be vaccinated for personal reasons out of work.

If, as is the case with your daughter, she is in a position that is client-facing, employers insisting on vaccination may be able to justify it if your daughter challenges and cannot be placed into a position that requires less or no client interaction.

However, people who cannot be immunized for medical or religious reasons protected under human rights legislation as well as most unionized workers will likely be exempt from a mandatory vaccine requirement.  It is important therefore that "health choices" is something more than personal choice.  It is probable that if an employee chooses not to get vaccinated just because of personal choice, the employer could choose to terminate them on a without cause basis and provide them with their termination pay.

While perhaps not the answer you were hoping for, I hope it helps.  Everything will turn on the reason your daughter has opted not to be vaccinated.  I am happy to entertain follow up questions.  I am going to be offiline for the next couple of hours, but will be back later this afternoon.  Thank you for trusting me and Just Answer to help with this matter today.

Customer
Are you in Alberta? Sounds like you are in Ontario. Masks are no longer mediatory here. Also the "holdouts" May have legitimate reasons not to take a vaccination, not to mention affects of unproven side affects up to two generations. It's like black mail and social shaming that one that can not or chooses to not have vaccination is marked by a mask. If vaccinated, and if it's so fool proof then vaccinated people should be ok and feel protected.
It's a personal choice. It's like me wanting to know your personal health record.
Customer
I'll leave this where it is. Thank you for your help thus far.
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Thom, LLB (JD), Expert

While I respect your views regarding masks and while I am aware that masks are not mandatory in Alberta, the masking policy allows private business to set their own policy.  This is particularly so where employees will have close and face-to-face contact with a client/customer.  Clients will be asking businesses about the vaccination status of employees and may choose not to patronize a business where someone they will e dealing with is not vaccinated.  Businesses, that have been harmed already will take all steps to ensure they et customers in the door.

Employers will probably "shy away" from allowing non-vaccinated employees to be client-facing if they are unvaccinated.  If an employer knowingly allows non-vaccinated employees into a retail space, in this case, a gym, if there happens to be a case that creates some kind of serious health condition or serious symptoms, then it's certainly possible that liability could arise.

To ensure that employers are providing the safest environment possible to other employees, they're going to have to ask for vaccination information and the reasons an employee is not vaccinated. Information about not being vaccinated will be shared with other employees to satisfy the employer's obligation to ensure a safe workplace.

While an employee’s medical information has traditionally been kept private, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed public expectations around privacy when it comes to vaccination information.  Safety will trump privacy.

If your daughter is choosing not to be vaccinated for religious or medical reasons and not concerns about the vaccine and possible side effects, she has a strong human rights argument.  However, if the choice is purely personal, the employer is likely to succeed in any action your daughter may bring whether it be in employment law or human rights.

This may very well be an unfortunate reality of the pandemic and may change as time passes and more is understood about interactions between vaccinated and unvaccinated people.  Again, I respect your views, but accommodations will continue to be asked of and made by us until more data is presented as vaccination rates increase.

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