Saskatoon Library Ignored Lifting of COVID Restrictions, Privacy Commissioner Says – Saskatoon | PKBNEWS

An investigation by Saskatchewan’s Information and Privacy Commissioner found that the Saskatoon Public Library breached an employee’s privacy when it requested proof of a COVID vaccination -19 or test results, even if a provincial mandate had been lifted.

Library management told employees on March 11, 2022 that they must continue to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, even though the Saskatchewan cabinet lifted the COVID-19 emergency regulation of employers on February 14.

“They needed to have the power to do it,” Ronald Kruzeniski, Saskatchewan’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, said in a Jan. 16 report. “At one point the province introduced a regulation that gave them that power, but on February 14 that authority was rescinded.

The report stated that “without the Employers’ Emergency COVID-19 Regulation, an employer can no longer require vaccination/testing and an employee is no longer required to comply with a request for vaccination/testing made by a employer “.

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The Saskatoon Library has taken it upon itself to enforce its own mandate until May 31.

A library worker confronted management and said the request was “in violation of Saskatchewan Employment Act and HIPA”.

The Saskatoon Library (SPL) responded to the employee the same day. “SPL has a policy that requires employees to submit COVID test certificates with negative results if they have not submitted proof of vaccination. SPL no longer requires employees to submit evidence, but if they have not already done so, they submit test results. The policy is within our legal rights.

In a statement to PKBNEWS, the library said it was operating within its personal COVID-19 exposure control plan, which “in addition to numerous activities designed to provide a safe work environment, required the mandatory wearing of the mask, tests and proof of vaccination of employees.

The Saskatoon Library had provided the complainant with the “Testing and Vaccination Exposure Control COVID-19 Policy” document, which was created by the city library, not the provincial government.

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“You expect me to comply with an invasion of my privacy and refuse to answer my questions to justify the invasion,” the plaintiff said in response to library documentation. “I don’t see why it is so difficult to provide me with the law or regulation that allows an employer to demand private information about a person.”

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SPL asserted that it was its duty to take all reasonable precautions to protect workers.

“SPL has determined that the frequency of contact with the general public in the workplace has created a high-risk environment for the transmission of COVID to employees and has taken steps to reduce risk in the workplace,” reads- we in the press release.

The privacy commissioner explained that while many will look to public safety and consider it more important than privacy, the library still lacks the power to make its claim.

Kruzeniski recommended the library ensure that all of the complainant’s COVID-19 test results in the system (including emails) are destroyed within 30 days.

SPL told PKBNEWS that all employee testing and vaccination status information was removed from its system in June 2022.

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