Earlier this week, an Ontario arbitrator dismissed a union grievance challenging a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. The employer, a security guard company, had required all its employees to be fully vaccinated or face potential disciplinary measures.
Local 333 of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union filed the grievance.
The arbitrator found that the employer’s vaccination policy was reasonable, enforceable and compliant with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
The arbitrator held that by introducing the policy, the employer was fulfilling its obligations and responsibilities pursuant to s. 25(2)(h) of the OHSA to take “every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”
The arbitrator also stated in the decision that an employee’s subjective perceptions of the COVID-19 vaccine were insufficient grounds for a statutory exemption.