Early case law relating to mandatory vaccination policy disputes and electronic employee monitoring policies were among the topics covered during Osler's Employment and Labour Insights September webinar. The event was moderated by Sven Poysa, partner, Employment and Labour, with presenters Damian Rigolo, partner, Employment and Labour; Lauren Tomasich, partner, Litigation; and Summer Danakas, Diana Holloway and Briana MacEachern, associates, Employment and Labour.
In a recent case involving a community college, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice refused to grant an injunction intended to prevent the college from enforcing its mandatory vaccination policy. This policy applied to students who had to physically be on campus as part of their programs during 2021. The judge cited the significant preventative benefits of the policy, including reducing the risk of the virus in the vast majority of those who were vaccinated. This ruling may be particularly helpful for employers who face challenges from former employees to their vaccination policy.
Written electronic monitoring policies
In Ontario, as of October 11 of this year, and by each March 1 thereafter, employers with 25 or more Ontario employees as of January 1 of a given year must have a written policy with respect to electronic monitoring of employees. Included in the policy must be a description of how and under what circumstances the employer may electronically monitor employees, along with a statement of the purpose for which the information collected from electronic monitoring may be used. The policy does not create a new privacy right; nor does it establish a right for employees not to be electronically monitored by employers.
The webinar also covered the recent Maynard v. Johnson Controls Canada LP case in which a terminated employee with 14 years of service brought claim for wrongful dismissal in relation to his separation package not including the continued vesting of his equity plan during the severance period. The court ruled in favour of the plaintiff. For employers, this decision emphasizes the importance of bringing forfeiture provisions and contractual terms to the attention of employees, including providing copies of plans, highlighting key terms, and having employees sign off that they have reviewed the provisions.