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BC Court: Employee May Be Placed on Unpaid Leave for Violating COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

November 9, 2022


Although arbitrators in Canada have considered whether an employer in a unionized workplace can place an employee on unpaid leave for failing to comply with its mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, the British Columbia Supreme Court in Parmar v. Tribe Management Inc., 2022 BCSC 1675, rendered the first civil court decision examining whether an employer can do so in a nonunionized workplace. The court rejected the employee’s argument that she had been constructively dismissed when, after she refused to comply with her employer’s policy, she was placed on an unpaid leave of absence. The court found the employer’s actions reasonable and that the employee’s losses were the result of her personal choice not to follow the policy.

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