With more and more private businesses instituting vaccine mandates, unvaccinated employees are faced with two options, get the shot or get laid off.
In efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, companies have taken it upon themselves to make getting vaccinated mandatory for their workers. These mandates follow in the footsteps of provincial and federal requirements that employees in the public sector be vaccinated.
The claim from those in favour of the policies suggest in these unprecedented times, employers' responsibility to provide a safe environment for all overrides the rights of individuals.
While many applaud the mandates as necessary and worthwhile, others fear they are infringing on both Canadians' human rights and employment rights.
Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru told the Canadian Press that his firm has been contacted by "thousands of people from across Canada who all have these ultimatums in front of them saying they have to be vaccinated by a certain date or risk losing their jobs." He argues that anyone who is terminated without just compensation could claim they were wrongfully dismissed.
"The employer is imposing a new rule, one that was not part of the original employment agreement," Samfiru said. "That becomes a termination without cause and severance has to be paid. Beyond that, there could be a human rights claim as well."
While the number of Canadians submitting claims is on the rise, it is not projected to have a serious impact on the number of people in the workforce.