City of Toronto fires 461 employees for not complying with COVID-19 vaccination policy

Toronto city hall is seen in this file image. Ryan Rocca / Global News

The City of Toronto has fired 461 employees for not complying with the City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

In a news release issued Wednesday, officials said as of Sunday’s deadline for compliance with the mandate, around 98.6 per cent of the City’s active workforce reported being fully vaccinated, representing approximately 32,478 employees.

The statement said 461 employees who had either not received any COVID-19 vaccine doses or had not reported their vaccination status were fired.

“These employees had been suspended without pay and not scheduled to work and, therefore, not factored into current staffing levels,” the statement said.

Thirty-seven additional employees are currently on temporary leave awaiting a decision on accommodation requests.

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There are also 248 workers who have reported receiving one dose and starting this week, they will have meetings with managers and union representatives, if applicable. The City said if it is found that the employee still does not have a second dose, they could be fired, but “consideration will be given” to those who have a second dose appointment booked.

The City also noted that workers who are not able to get vaccinated for a reason protected in the Ontario Human Rights Code will be given accommodation.

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The City’s vaccination policy was first announced in August 2021.

“Since the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccination policy, the City has offered various supports to staff including education opportunities, paid time off to get vaccinated and some workplace vaccination clinics. City divisions have been monitoring compliance and planning for the possible reduction of staff as a result of noncompliance,” the statement said.

“The employees who have had their employment terminated have been on an unpaid suspension for a number of weeks in advance of this termination notice and contingency plans are in place to ensure service continuity.”

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