B.C. anti-vaxxer loses case against union, again | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. anti-vaxxer loses case against union, again

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An anti-vaxxer who was placed on unpaid leave from ICBC for refusing to get vaccinated has lost an appeal against her union.

According to a Dec. 22 B.C. Labour Relations Board decision, Ruth Menekerios appealed an earlier decision from the Board where she accused her Union, Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union Local 378, of letting her down by not fighting against the mandatory vaccination policy.

Menekerios had called the policy a "medical apartheid" that "overrides provincial and national laws" and accused the union of breaching its duty to her as a member because it wouldn't challenge the vaccine policy.

She lost the case in August but filed an appeal.

According to the decision, Menekerios said the Union's refusal to challenge the policy is "discriminatory for example towards workers with preexisting medical conditions, new conditions arising out of covid restrictions/vaccine injuries, medical trauma, religious/political objections, intersectional racial/medical abuse leading to disenfranchisement from medical institutions."

Menekerios says the mandate caused "irreparable harms inflicted by the employer and union by enforcing an unlawful policy."

In her appeal, Menekerios says she has produced "new evidence" in the form of a legal decision from the Canada Employment Insurance Commission.

However, Menekerios failed to submit the decision in evidence.

She also included "excerpts" from the "Canadian Medical Association Journal" and "Healthy Debates," but failed to attach copies of the documents which talk about vaccine hesitancy among Black, Indigenous, and people of colour.

The Board says these "excerpts" don't count as new evidence and are not relevant to her case.

"The excerpts describe the issue of vaccine hesitancy, particularly among (Black, Indigenous, and people of colour) communities. However, (Menekerios) does not assert that they, or anyone else, was denied an accommodation on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination."

Menekerios also argued her name should be anonymized in the decision.

She argued that the Labour Board publishing her name will open her up to "discrimination, undue harm and hardship."

"(Menekerios) says, their name must be anonymized in this decision to avoid publishing their 'private medical information' and to protect their 'privacy rights, bodily integrity rights, the B.C. Human Rights Code, Canadian Human Rights Act, and Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms," the Labour Board said in the decision.

However, the Board rejected her request.

"(She) submits that readers may infer or make assumptions about their vaccination status from the decisions, we find (Menekerios) has not established that this possibility gives rise to exceptional circumstances where harm to a person's privacy or security interest outweighs the public interest in applying the 'open court' principle," the Board said.

Ultimately, her appeal was rejected.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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