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Notices of Liability for COVID-19: Are They Even Valid?

Guest
February 1, 2022

I have received numerous questions from employers and employees alike about the effectiveness of Covid-19 “Notices of Liability.” The most common forms I have been asked to review are found at action4canada.com, and include an “Employer Vaccine Notice of Liability.”

Are these forms legally effective? Absolutely not.

The “Employer Vaccine Notice of Liability” form suggests that you can hold your employer “personally liable” for “financial injury” and loss of income resulting from not receiving a COVID-19 vaccine where “coerced” to do so. In other words, if you lose your job or suffer other consequences because you choose not to be vaccinated, your employer is on the hook for your losses.

While this is a comforting thought for employees faced with the devastating realities of job loss, it is a false hope.  You cannot unilaterally make someone personally liable by serving them a piece of paper. It is the equivalent of saying “you are liable for ‘x’ because I said so”, and that is not how liability works.

If you are a Harry Potter fan, you may recall a scene where Albus Dumbledore waves his wand over a perfectly blank piece of paper, hands it to the “inconveniently sharp woman” woman he is trying to speak with, and states “I think this will make everything clear.” The Covid-19 notices available online are the equivalent of that blank piece of paper.

In a thoroughly non-magical world, your best case scenario is that your employer ignores the form. At worst, it will antagonize them. In either case, it will signal to them that you do not know your ‘rights’, have not gotten professional advice on your situation, and are relying on misinformation available publicly online as the basis for contesting their vaccine mandate or other Covid-19 related rules.

If you are considering challenging a vaccine mandate or non-compliance with a public health order or employer directive, we strongly encourage you to get legal advice from a lawyer who practices in the relevant area of law.You can confirm a lawyer is in good standing by checking provincial law society websites (in BC, you can use the Lawyer Directory).