Are there religious exceptions when it comes to mandatory employee vaccination? We have implemented a policy, staff must be vaccinated, and I have a staff member requesting exemption for religious reasons.
Valid religious objections are grounds for accommodations under human rights laws. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to let the employee come to work unvaccinated if it would unreasonably expose others. Accommodations may also include letting the employee work from home or in physical isolation. You also have a right to request reasonable verification of the employee’s need for an exemption, like a note confirming that it would violate the employee’s religion to get vaccinated. In other words, you don’t have to take the employee at his word. But use common sense with verification. Don’t ask for a holy writ from a high religious official or anything like that. Just something that’s reasonable and shows the guy isn’t making up a story. Here’s a piece we’ve written on this issue. Glenn https://hrinsider.ca/can-canadian-employers-require-employees-to-take-the-covid-19-vaccine/