This page addresses the impact of workplace vaccination policies on employees working in Alberta. Please refer to our other resources for information about employment rights and vaccination requirements in Ontario, BC, and for federally regulated employees.

Please note that this page only addresses non-unionized employees. Our main page about mandatory vaccinations explains why we can’t help unionized employees.


Has Alberta mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for the workplace?

The Government of Alberta did not create a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for workplaces in the province. There is no requirement from the government that all workers in Alberta must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by a certain date.

Employers do not have the ability to impose a policy on their workers that penalizes them for refusing to vaccinate, including an unpaid leave of absence and termination for cause. Any policy that attempts to do so could be illegal.

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Public sector workers and vaccination policy

Effective March 1, 2022, there are no requirements for Alberta public servants to be fully vaccinated or provide regular negative COVID-19 test results.

Previously, Premier Jason Kenney announced in September 2021 that Alberta’s 25,500 public sector employees would be required to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 by November 30, 2021. Workers who failed to submit proof of vaccination by the deadline were required to either:

  • obtain an accommodation based on the Alberta Human Rights Act; or
  • generate a negative PCR or rapid test within 72 hours of every workday or shift they are scheduled to work.

Employees who failed to comply with the province’s vaccination policy could have been placed on an unpaid leave of absence, said public service commissioner Tim Grant.

Because Alberta’s rules for public sector employees included an unpaid leave for non-compliance, an employee would not have been able to argue constructive dismissal (resignation with severance) if they were penalized in this way.

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What are my rights if my employer creates a vaccine policy, but there is no Alberta government mandate?

Since there are no vaccine mandates in place by the Alberta government, your employer can’t legally fire you for cause if you refuse to get the vaccine. This means that you are likely owed full severance pay if you are let go. It is considered a wrongful dismissal if you are let go without cause, and fail to receive the proper amount of severance pay – in some cases that could be as much as 24 months’ pay. An employee may also be owed human rights damages if they are let go under these circumstances.

If you lose your job in Alberta due to your employer’s vaccine mandate, contact the employment lawyers at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP immediately to find out about the compensation you could be owed.

Additionally, your employer can’t place you on an unpaid leave of absence if you don’t get a COVID-19 jab. You may be able to treat this change as a constructive dismissal, allowing you to exit your job with a severance package.

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Additional Information

If you have additional questions about employers requiring proof of vaccination, testing, or masking, please see our FAQ on the mandatory vaccination page.

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Disclaimer and Contact Information

Samfiru Tumarkin LLP believes that vaccinations are an effective tool in the fight against COVID-19, and urges eligible Canadians to fully vaccinate to protect themselves and those around them. However, the fact remains that there are various legal realities and considerations that must be observed and enforced where workplace policies are concerned, including mandatory vaccinations, human rights, terminations and severance entitlements.

If you work in Ontario, Alberta or BC and still have questions about your rights on this matter but haven’t been fired, connect with an experienced employment lawyer via email. If you are fired or let go by your employer, call us at 1-855-821-5900,, or fill out an online form.

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