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OK to Fire Public Employee for Defying Mandatory COVID Testing Policy

After nearly 24 years of service, an unvaccinated public service employee was terminated for refusing to undergo at-home COVID-19 testing 3 times a week. The employee claimed that she should have been placed on unpaid administrative leave and that firing her for not complying with the mandatory testing policy violated the terms of her collective agreement. The New Brunswick arbitrator tossed the grievance, finding that the policy was a reasonable and necessary safety measure in line with the employer’s authority under the collective agreement [Poulos v Treasury Board (Regional Development Corporation), 2022 CanLII 37635 (NB LA), May 10, 2022].