In a decision released on January 12, 2022, Arbitrator Jesin dismissed a grievance filed by Teamsters Local Union 847 (the “Union”) against Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (the “Employer”) in respect of an employee who had been placed on an indefinite leave of absence following the non-disclosure of his vaccine status. In rendering its decision, Arbitrator Jesin considered the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy (which required disclosure of vaccination status) issued by the Employer for employees working at Scotiabank Arena and held that the policy was a reasonable exercise of the Employer’s management rights under the collective agreement and did not breach any provisions of the collective agreement or relevant legislation.
The Employer announced in September 2021 that all employees working at Scotiabank Arena were required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and confirm their vaccination status no later than October 31, 2021. The Grievor failed to disclose his vaccination status by that date and was placed on unpaid leave.
Arbitrator Jesin denied the grievance on the basis that the policy was a reasonable exercise of management rights and appropriate for fulfilling the Employer’s obligations under occupational health and safety legislation. Further, employers are entitled to require the disclosure health information to implement a necessary vaccine policy, which information is limited to the extent necessary to implement the plan. Employers must also take appropriate confidentiality and security measures with regards to the medical information, which he found were adequately taken in this case. Finally, Arbitrator Jesin held that the policy did not breach the seniority or minimum hours articles of the collective agreement.