A Case on Covid Rules and Employment Law in Alberta
In the case of Benke v Loblaw Companies Limited, 2022 ABQB 461, the Court looked at the issue of compliance with masking restrictions set forth by employers, municipalities and public health authorities. The Plaintiff did not wish to wear a mask contrary to the policy of his employer (he did not have a medical exemption to wear one) and was put on indefinite leave by his employer.
The Plaintiff brought a lawsuit for Constructive Dismissal, claiming that the employer refused to accommodate him. The Court found the employer's mask policy was co-extensive with municipal mask policies.
The Court said that by refusing to comply with the policy, the Plaintiff had actually repudiated his contract of employment. The employer actually allowed the contract of employment to continue, notwithstanding this repudiation. When the employer then quit and sued for constructive dismissal, the court found the employee had resigned and was not entitled to compensation.
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