Earlier in October, Bridge City News (BCN) shared with you the story of Haley Mock, a healthcare worker in a long-term care home in rural Alberta. She is refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine that is mandatory to keep her job. She says she is twice shy about vaccines due to an adverse reaction from a flu shot she says caused her to end up in hospital years ago. She was unable to get a medical exemption from her doctor. She contacted BCN with an update to that story.
Currently on stress leave, Mock reports that her supervisor sent her a text message early last week to find out if she is going to get vaccinated in order to be eligible to return to work. She feels that employees should be free from obligation while they are on leave to take care of their own health, and that employers should not be contacting their off-duty staff.
Mock says there are others at the facility she works at who are on leave and have decided not to come back. She feels her employer is trying to do a head count to find out what gaps in staffing they will need to permanently fill. Alberta Health Services (AHS) did respond to an inquiry if they condone employers contacting staff while on leave: “AHS has been actively reminding staff and leaders of the deadlines to meet this policy and encourages all staff to submit as soon as possible. A newly hired worker or worker on an approved Leave of Absence (LOA) will be required to provide proof of immunization before returning to work.” As for Mock’s future, she is also utilizing her time off to look for a new career that won’t discriminate against her unique situation. She adds that the residents at her care home are going to miss her.
Mock says she is sad that she can be allowed to visit the residents unvaccinated, like any other visitor, but will no longer be allowed to work at the care home after the deadline to show proof of vaccination passes on November 30.