Termination for refusing to wear a mask not harsh, oppressive or unfair.

The Commission upheld the applicant's dismissal, deeming a mask mandate lawful, reasonable, and a valid reason for termination.

The applicant, an ICT Coordinator, was dismissed for refusing to comply with a mask mandate issued under COVID-19 public health orders. The respondent contended that his dismissal was not unfair, harsh, or oppressive due to his refusal to follow a lawful and reasonable direction.

The applicant sought compensation, an apology, a reference, and accountability for senior management staff, while the respondent argued that the mask mandate was lawful and reasonable as a COVID-19 protective measure.

Commission Walkington dismissed the claim, determining that the mask mandate was lawful and reasonable, serving as a protective measure during the pandemic, and the applicant's refusal to follow the directive without providing an exemption constituted a valid reason for his dismissal. Consequently, the Commission found that the respondent's termination of the applicant's employment was not unfair, harsh, or oppressive, and it was within their right to enforce the mask mandate.

The decision can be read here.