Former employees of the City of Windsor, Ont. are pursuing legal action after being fired for violating the City’s coronavirus vaccination policy.
While the lawsuit currently has 20 plaintiffs, more employees will be added, says Courtney Betty, the plaintiffs’ lawyer. The plaintiffs cover a wide range of occupations including firefighters, city employees and frontline workers. “[Through this lawsuit], there is a greater goal to bring an end to what we feel is an unconstitutional policy in the City of Windsor. [Its] position is basically ‘if you’re not vaccinated, you cannot work for the City of Windsor.'”
The City has an exception in place for police officers, he adds. “Police officers right now don’t have to be vaccinated in Windsor, but if you’re a firefighter you do. The best way of describing the policy is that it’s totally unreasonable.”
Betty has worked on other cases involving vaccination mandates, including some with university students, and he’s surprised at the position some employers have taken. “It’s a fascinating evolution for me because [this issue] touches on constitutional law. There are many other elements such as labour law, but the constitutional part of it is the one aspect I don’t think has been sufficiently looked at so far and that’s what makes [these cases] a little more interesting.”
In a similar suit between the City of Toronto and local firefighters, the arbitrator ruled in favour of the firefighters, he says, adding this could help set a legal precedent.
The City of Windsor didn’t respond to Benefits Canada’s request for comment.