FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Can employers ask employees to show proof of vaccination?

Although this does relate to personal information that is protected by privacy rights, those rights can be superseded by safety concerns in appropriate circumstances. These are appropriate circumstances; and proof of vaccination is a reasonable request. Furthermore, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health is recommending that employees who cannot be vaccinated must show proof from their physician confirming this fact. That is not unreasonable, particularly since those employees will be entitled to accommodation.

Remember, though, that as much as vaccines are a topic of conversation, a person’s vaccination status should still be handled as a sensitive matter. An individual may be unable to get a vaccine for a reason that they have not publicly disclosed. ‘Out-ing’ them as unvaccinated can inadvertently disclose sensitive health information, so employers should proceed with caution and seek legal guidance as necessary. Even revealing the fact that an employee has been vaccinated is questionable, and businesses that confidently assure customers that “this employee” or “all of our employees” have been vaccinated are revealing personal information about those employees without their consent.