Hospital’s Vaccinate or Mask Policy as to the Flu Was Unreasonable
A hospital imposed a “Vaccinate or Mask” (VOM) policy that required healthcare workers to wear surgical masks during the five to six months of flu season if they haven’t gotten a flu shot. The nurses’ union challenged the policy as an unreasonable exercise of management’s rights. And an arbitrator agreed. The goal of preventing hospital-acquired influenza by increasing immunization rates is laudable. But there was no evidence as to why current hospital policies were inadequate and needed to be changed. And the arbitrator wasn’t convinced the policy would actually encourage vaccinations [Sault Area Hospital v. Ontario Nurses’ Association,  CanLII 55643 (ON LA), Sept. 8, 2015].