Bank of Canada employee suspended for refusing COVID jab, even though he works from home

Joesph Hickey is a Bank of Canada employee who works from home.

But that didn’t stop the bank from suspending and then threatening to fire him, because he has refused to get a COVID-19 jab.

Hickey, a bank researcher, who is also executive director of the Ontario Civil Liberties Association, said his suspension made no medical sense.

“I’m working from home,” Hickey told Blacklock’s Reporter.

“There is no reason why I should not be allowed to continue.”

Hickey, 36, a PhD researcher in the bank’s analytics division, was suspended November 22.

Management warned in a letter, “Your employment may ultimately be terminated if you remain non-compliant.”

“The bank essentially tried to coerce employees into becoming vaccinated even if they worked from home,” Hickey said.

“This is a clear case of coercion.”

More than 98% of bank employees are already vaccinated, by official estimate.

Management would not say how many have been suspended for declining to get COVID-19 shots or refusing to disclose their medical status.

“We cannot discuss that information for privacy reasons,” said Sean Gordon, bank spokesman.

“I believe in the necessity of being true to your conscience,” said Hickey.

“This is who I am. That absolutely should be sufficient, and that’s really the heart of the matter, isn’t it? If we’re at a point where the government can violate individual freedom of conscience in such a direct and brutal way then we are in a really dangerous place.

“If you are not going to allow individuals to do that then you are making society very fragile. You are subjecting people to the dictates of a central authority, and that central authority is human and fallible and can be wrong. Where does it go next?”

The Treasury Board in an October 8 memo said unimmunized workers must not be fired — the policy “does not consider termination of employment,” it said — and gave managers wide powers to grant exemptions on religious grounds.

“The requirement is to focus on the sincerity of the individual belief rooted in religion, not whether it is recognized by other members of the same religion,” said the memo.

“The belief must be religious in nature, not a personal moral belief, and the employee must explain the nature of the belief and why it prevents vaccination.”

Hickey in a November 12 letter to bank management asked for an exemption as a teleworker and observant Catholic who posed no risk to others.

“My personal conviction is informed by the values imparted to me from my upbringing as a member of the Catholic Church and as a student in Catholic elementary and middle school in Ontario,” wrote Hickey.

“These include the values expressed in the philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas who believed that ‘conscience is the consideration of a specific case in light of one’s moral knowledge.’”

But the bank rejected Hickey’s appeal without explanation.

“We are not unionized,” Hickey said Wednesday.

“We don’t have a union we can turn to with questions.

“This came out of the blue. It was a change to terms of my employment that I do not agree with. There was no offer of severance, no offer of Employment Insurance,” he said.

“They are strong-arming me to get vaccinated. My salary was removed, my benefits were removed and access to my computer. It was very quick, very harsh.”

The post Bank of Canada employee suspended for refusing COVID jab, even though he works from home appeared first on The Western Standard.

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