The Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia (the “Board”) recently considered the issue of whether the right to refuse unsafe work protected an employee who refused to show up for work entirely due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
health and safety
We are finally starting to see how the first labour and employment cases have grappled with COVID-19 in the workplace. One such decision is Garda Security Screening Inc. v. IAM, District 140 (Shoker Grievance) ( O.L.A.A. No. 162), an arbitral award centred on staff working at an airport. The Shoker Grievance stems from a bulletin entitled "Know the Difference: Self -- Monitoring, Self -- Isolation, and Isolation for Covid -- 19 guidelines" (the “Health Bulletin”) which was distributed by Garda to its workers in late March 2020.
For safety compliance, employers must ensure that all current safety legislation is followed as per the most recent updates. This includes when and if the region of your workplace will require masks to be worn in retail and commercial buildings.