An employer threatens an anti-vaxer employee that it will terminate his employment for incapacity if the employee fails to get vaccinated. The employee gives in to this threat but then falls ill or suffers injury directly due to the forced Covid vaccination. Can the employee hold the employer liable for this in court?
No. The court would most probably find that the employer acted reasonably when it applied its mandatory vaccination rule. This assumes that the employer first consulted with employees about the intention to introduce to rule. And that it provided options to accommodate those who choose not to be vaccinated.
The court would consider the generally accepted science and government assurances that vaccinations are safe. And, that it’s a reasonable measure for an employer to adopt to comply with its general duty of care to provide a safe and healthy working environment.
The employee could submit a claim against the Workman’s Compensation Fund. But this too is doubtful. The Commissioner could rely on the same defence as the employer.
The Fund will not pay compensation if the employee “…unreasonably refuses or willfully neglects to have medical treatment”. The mandatory vaccination rule could be considered as acceptable preventative “medical treatment”.