It is possible that condo buildings may require proof of vaccination to access certain amenities such as pools and gyms. However, this would likely be up to the individual condo board to decide. It is important to note that any decision made by a condo board must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including those related to human rights and privacy.
“The condo board is not a policy-making body,” he said. “They can’t make their own rules that are contrary to public health orders.”
Chaplick said boards should be aware of the potential legal implications of any decisions they make, and should consult with their lawyers before taking action.
He noted that if a board were to require proof of vaccination from residents or visitors, it could open itself up to human rights complaints.
“It could be argued that this is discrimination based on disability or creed,” he said. “You have to be very careful about how you go about implementing something like this.”
He has been writing about the issue for several weeks, and last week he held a webinar for condo directors and property management clients to discuss the complex challenges of keeping their buildings safe. During the webinar, he provided practical advice on how to implement safety protocols and best practices in order to protect residents from potential risks. He also discussed legal considerations that should be taken into account when making decisions about safety measures.
- â€œVaccines have only been available to all eligible adults for a relatively short period of time. Before that you had to be a certain age to get the vaccine and it was understood that you could not create a vaccine requirement when the access to the vaccine was so restricted,â€ he said.
In addition, many condos have implemented social distancing protocols such as limiting the number of people in the pool area at one time and requiring masks to be worn. They have also increased cleaning and sanitizing of common areas and surfaces. Finally, some condos have installed hand sanitizer stations throughout their buildings for residents to use.
“It’s not a new concept,” he said. “We have been doing this for decades.”
- â€œIt is extremely common for us as a society to adopt laws requiring public health and safety and vaccination to prevent the spread of disease,â€ said Chaplick.
He also recommends that the board consider the impact of any new rules on all residents, not just a select few.
The comparison between COVID-19 rules and smoking rules is apt because both are designed to protect the health and safety of residents. Both sets of rules involve restrictions on certain activities, such as limiting the number of people who can gather in a space or prohibiting smoking in certain areas. Additionally, both sets of rules require individuals to adhere to specific guidelines in order to ensure that everyone remains safe.
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice’s decision to uphold the condo corporation’s prohibition on smoking on balconies was based on the evidence that smoking causes harm. The court found that, even though there was no direct evidence that smoking on a balcony would harm other condo dwellers, there was broader evidence that smoking caused harm. The court also noted that the resident had the option of smoking in their unit, which meant that the rule was reasonable.
“For example, a board could designate certain hours for vaccinated residents only and other hours for all residents,” Chaplick said. “This would allow the board to ensure that only vaccinated residents are using the amenities during certain times while still allowing all residents access to the amenities.”
- â€œOutside of these hours anyone could use the amenities and there could be a cleaning protocol between the general hours and the vaccination-only hours,â€ he said.
This is a great solution that will help to reduce potential conflict and provide unvaccinated residents with an option. It will also help to ensure that those who are producing bogus exemptions are held accountable for their actions. By providing an alternative, it will also help to ensure that everyone is able to make an informed decision about their health and safety.
He suggests that directors should consider the safety of residents and guests, as well as the potential for damage to property. He also recommends that directors consult with legal counsel to ensure that any restrictions are legally compliant. Additionally, he advises directors to communicate any changes in access to amenities clearly and promptly to all residents.
However, if the building has a communal pool or gym, then it is likely that all residents will be required to show proof of vaccination in order to use these amenities.
- â€œWhen you rent a party room for a private event itâ€™s not being used by members of different households from within the condo at the same time,â€ he said. â€œWhile that event might lead to the spread of COVID itâ€™s not something that would necessarily affect all the other owners of the building.â€
Unionized employees may be subject to different rules. The collective agreement may contain language that requires the employer to bargain with the union before implementing a mandatory vaccination policy. If there is no such language, then the employer can implement a policy without bargaining with the union, but it must still comply with any applicable human rights legislation.
He suggests that boards instead focus on creating a secure environment by installing security cameras, issuing access cards to residents, and having a doorman or other staff member present at all times. He also recommends that boards create clear policies about who is allowed in the building and when, as well as how visitors should be identified and monitored. Finally, Chaplick suggests that boards consider implementing an intercom system so that visitors can be identified before they enter the building.
He suggested that condo boards should work with candidates to ensure that their visits are respectful of the residents’ privacy and do not disrupt the peace and quiet of the building. He also suggested that boards could set up a designated area for candidates to meet with residents, such as a common room or lobby. This would allow residents to interact with candidates without having to invite them into their homes.