Sixteen unvaccinated health-care employees who had been positioned on unpaid go away final fall are suing the Manitoba authorities and a number of well being authorities over the province’s obligatory COVID-19 vaccination and testing insurance policies.
In an announcement of declare filed June 23, the group claims the coverage violated their constitution rights as a result of it pressured them to reveal personal well being details about their COVID-19 vaccination standing beneath the specter of disciplinary measures or shedding their livelihood.
The lawsuit names the attorneys basic of Manitoba and Canada, Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public well being officer, and the regional well being authorities as defendants.
The declare says the coverage violates a number of constitution rights, together with the employees’ proper to liberty because it interferes with their private autonomy by limiting their means to manage their very own bodily and psychological well being.
The group additionally argues that the coverage quantities to prison assault as a result of it forces a medical intervention on workers beneath menace of lack of livelihood.
Nearly all the 16 plaintiffs had been positioned on unpaid go away after refusing to adjust to the coverage, which required health-care employees to both get vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 or comply with common testing.
Vital psychological anguish: declare
The employees say they misplaced their major supply of earnings because of this, and had been additionally ineligible for unemployment advantages, inflicting vital psychological anguish.
“They’re left to ponder whether or not or not they’ll have the funds obtainable to fulfill their primary wants, together with the acquisition of meals, clothes and shelter for themselves and their households,” the assertion of declare says.
The group is asking for as much as $1.5 million every in damages. They’re being represented by Alberta-based lawyer Leighton Gray.
The coverage was introduced in August 2021 in response to the specter of the extra contagious delta variant and took impact on Oct. 18, 2021. Paramedics, home-care employees and folks working with baby and household companies had been coated by the coverage.
Information offered by Shared Well being confirmed that 176 unvaccinated health-care employees had been positioned on unpaid go away as of Oct. 21, 2021, 4 days after the coverage got here into impact.
The coverage was lifted on March 1 of this yr after the province ended its vaccine mandates.
A spokesperson for the province mentioned their place will likely be specified by court docket.