Workplace Law Archives | Watson Goepel Vancouver Lawyers

20 May 2021

Mandatory Employee Covid-19 Vaccination Policies: A Canadian Update

By Sarah Hentschel

This paper was jointly prepared by employment lawyers representing Watson Goepel LLP and 6 other Canadian member firms of Lawyers Associated Worldwide (LAW), a global association of independent international law firms.  As the COVID-19 vaccination becomes more widely available to Canadians, can it be made mandatory? Both the federal and provincial governments have so far…

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15 March 2021

COVID-19 Vaccinations: Mandatory in the Workplace?

By Sarah Hentschel and Sherry Yu

BC is now in Phase 2 of the province’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan and there is emerging debate as to whether employers have the right to require employees to obtain COVID-19 vaccinations. With limited exceptions, there is currently no support for mandated employee vaccinations in Canadian law. Traditionally, employers have not been allowed to impose blanket…

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20 October 2020

COVID-19 as an “Occupational Disease”

In August the B.C. government implemented changes to the Workers Compensation Act through Bill 23, which received Royal Assent on August 14, 2020. Several notable changes were introduced; one of these changes widened the “Occupational Disease” framework to capture COVID-19 infection in certain circumstances. Workers Compensation Act Section 238 now reads: (1) Subject to subsection…

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20 August 2020

Temporary layoffs, CERB, and CEWS: A COVID-19 update

By Sarah Hentschel

Both provincial and federal governments continue to update legislation and programs introduced this year in response to COVID-19. This blog post highlights some of the recent changes. Temporary Layoffs in B.C. Under the Employment Standards Act, RSBC 1996, c. 113 (the “Act”), as long as an employer has the contractual authority or the employee agrees…

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8 May 2020

Protected leave and sick leave: What counts as “reasonably sufficient proof”?

By Sarah Hentschel

** This article does not contain legal advice. There can be legal differences across industries and jurisdictions (i.e. federally versus provincially regulated workplaces). In addition, employee contracts can vary the suggestions set out in this article. Please consult with counsel before you implement any new strategy which deviates from your current policies and procedures.** The…

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16 April 2020

COVID-19 has shuttered my business. Can I lay off my workers? Should I abandon my lease?

By Micah Goldberg

The novel coronavirus has disrupted British Columbia’s economy and the province may not fully recover from the effects of social distancing for months to come. For many business owners, working from home is either not possible with social distancing orders, or it provides limited (if any) economic benefits. Businesses are facing massive difficulties in trying…

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27 March 2020

Government supports for your workplace during COVID-19

By Sarah Hentschel

Government Benefits The federal government has existing programs to assist workplaces. Both the federal and provincial governments have also added a few additional programs and made amendments to current programs to streamline the application process to address the current crisis. Please see here for further details or to find applications for the benefits. This article…

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