by OCLA (Ontario Civil Liberties Association)
Published: December 19, 2022
Many Canadian employees who were suspended without pay or fired for refusing vaccination have had their personal health decisions labeled as “misconduct” and been denied Employment Insurance (EI) benefits by the government.
On Dec. 14, 2022, the Social Security Tribunal of Canada (SST) released a decision overturning the Canadian Employment Insurance Commission’s denial of EI benefits to a former hospital administration employee who was dismissed for refusing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in November 2021.
The claimant did not want to take the risk of being vaccinated due to her health conditions, including having had cancer as a child and negative reactions to anesthetic during surgery, and wanted to wait until more information was available about the safety of the vaccine. The Commission reviewed her case and found she lost her work “due to her own misconduct”, and therefore denied her EI benefits.
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