B.C. man fired for refusing to wear a mask loses Human Rights case | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Current Conditions


Vernon News

B.C. man fired for refusing to wear a mask loses Human Rights case

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
April 09, 2021 - 1:35 PM

A disgruntled B.C. worker who was fired for refusing to wear a mask after he argued that it infringed on his "God given ability to breathe" has had his case rejected by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

The fired worker argued that to cover up his face "arbitrarily dishonours God" but the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal dismissed his claim after he failed to mention which particular religion prohibited mask-wearing.

The case is the second involving the refusal to wear a mask that the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has publicized recently. In both cases, the Tribunal has refused to hear the matters, and in an unusual move published its reasons for doing so. Ordinarily, complainants would just receive a letter saying they had not provided enough evidence to move forward with their claim.

READ MORE: Anti-masker loses case at B.C. Human Rights Tribunal

The Tribunal said earlier that it was publishing the decision due to a "large volume" of complaints alleging discrimination over the requirement to wear a mask.

In this case, according to an April 9 B.C. Human Rights Tribunal decision, the worker was contracted to work at a facility and told he had to wear a mask.

He refused to do so saying it was his "religious creed" and was not allowed to enter. The company then fired him for not wearing a mask.

Neither the worker nor the company is identified in the decision.

The worker then filed a Human Rights complaint saying he'd been discriminated against based on his religion.

He described his religious beliefs with numerous statements.

"We are all made in the image of God, a big part of our image that we all identify with is our face. To cover-up our face arbitrarily dishonours God," the worker argued in the decision.

The worker argued that it is his "freedom of expression" to show his face in the general public and his religious liberty to identify his face to others.

He also argues that mask-wearing isn't effective.

"God makes truth of high importance that I must follow ethically and morally... forced mask-wearing (does) not help protect anyone from viruses," he said in the decision.

He says he cannot "live in that lie."

The worker also argued that studies show that masks don't work.

However, the Tribunal pointed out that while he'd failed to submit any evidence to support his statements on the effectiveness of mask-wearing, more importantly, he'd also failed to point out which religion prohibited masks.

"The Worker’s opinion that masks are ineffective is not a belief or practice protected from discrimination on the basis of religion," the Tribunal ruled. "His objection is based on his opinion that wearing a mask does not stop the transmission of COVID-19."

The Tribunal spells out that his opinion is not protected under the B.C. Human Rights Act and he'd failed to prove that not wearing a mask gave rise to a "subjective connection to the divine or the subject... of his spiritual faith."

The case mirrors an earlier Human Rights Tribunal case regarding masks, where the complainant argued wearing a mask was against her disability but refused to disclose what that disability was. Her case was also immediately dismissed.

READ MORE: B.C. judge rules 'Pastafarian's' treatment by ICBC not discrimination

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.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2021

  • Popular kelowna News
  • Okanagan Lake nearing its lowest level in at least 20 years
    Okanagan Lake is now only about one centimetre higher than it was at this time in 2003 – which was one of the driest years on record. As of July 26, it sat at 341.87 metres above sea l
  • Kamloops woman comes face-to-face with thief in her home
    When Bev Rogers came home from a night shift at the hospital and found a bike mysteriously laying on her front yard on Kamloops' North Shore on Wednesday morning, she was surprised. What was m
  • Kelowna highrise sells out within 48 hours of going on sale
    The first of three residential highrise towers in the Water Street by the Park development in downtown Kelowna sold out almost as soon as they came on the market. The sales started on Friday
  • Young woman fends off attacker in Kamloops
    Kamloops RCMP responded to a North Shore volleyball court after hearing a young woman scream. On July 28, around 10:20 p.m., police found the youth uninjured after she fought off an attacker
  • Foreign student drowns in Shuswap lake
    A 27-year-old foreign exchange student has drowned in the Shuswap's White Lake. On July 28, the Salmon Arm RCMP, White Lake Fire Department and Shuswap Search and Rescue responded to a r
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile