The Vaccine Mandate in Ontario Hits a Legal Roadblock

The Vaccine Mandate in Ontario Hits a Legal Roadblock

The Ontario Superior Court has issued an interim injunction against University Health Network (UHN) to prevent a group of unvaccinated employees from being fired for not complying with their vaccine mandate.

UHN stated on August 20, 2021, that any employees who choose not to get the COVID-19 vaccine by October 8 would be placed on unpaid leave for two weeks. If it is still their decision at the end of two weeks is that they will not be vaccinated after that date, their employment at UHN will end.

Six employees, including nurses of UHN, which includes Toronto General, Toronto Western, and Princess Margaret hospitals, filed an urgent motion to the court. Justice Sean Dunphy issued a temporary injunction which pauses the vaccine mandate for the six plaintiffs and 19 others who were in the process of joining the legal action for a week. UHN argues that the court cannot oversee this matter as it is a matter of collective bargaining. The court will revisit this issue on October 28 to determine whether or not it has jurisdiction.

Justice Dunphy stated that the temporary injunction does not represent a judgment on the vaccine mandate. He further noted that “The harm raised by the applicants is potentially serious and cannot be done” “There may be merit to both positions and I need time to be better briefed.”

How this impacts workplaces in Ontario with similar mandatory vaccine policies is yet to be determined. If you or a loved one have been terminated due to a mandatory vaccine policy, contact our team at Jewell Radimisis Jorge LLP at (800) 715-1082.

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