An unidentified B.C. man said, in a human rights complaint, that he was refused a contract job after refusing to wear a mask when asked to by an on-site manager. (Unsplash)

An unidentified B.C. man said, in a human rights complaint, that he was refused a contract job after refusing to wear a mask when asked to by an on-site manager. (Unsplash)

Religious B.C. man lodges human rights complaint after fired for refusing to wear a mask

Worker’s claim ‘to cover up our face infringes on our God-given ability to breathe’ dismissed by B.C. Human Rights Tribunal

A B.C. worker who was fired for refusing to wear a mask for religious reasons will not get to air out his grievances, B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has ruled.

In a decision issued Thursday (April 8), tribunal member Adam Stevenson shot down the man’s claim that he was discriminated against because of his religion.

The unidentified man said he was refused contracted work at a district facility after he refused to wear a mask when asked to by a site manager.

“We are all made in the image of God,” he said, and “to cover up our face arbitrarily dishonors God” and infringes on “our God-given ability to breathe,” the worker said about his beliefs.

Subsequently, the anti-masker was sent a letter by a district manager terminating his contract.

READ MORE: RCMP called after anti-maskers force way into B.C. business

While the man said it was his faith that kept him from donning a mask, Stevenson said the complaint he lodged focused on his general disagreement with B.C.’s mask-wearing mandate.

In his filing, the complainant alleged certain research shows “there is no reason to wear (a mask) in the general public.”

“The worker has not set out facts that could establish that his objection to mask‐wearing is grounded in a sincerely held religious belief,” Stevenson wrote.

RELATED: Can’t wear a mask? Be prepared to prove it, B.C. Human Rights Tribunal rules

Earlier this month, Stevenson issued a screening decision, stating the B.C. Human Rights Code does not protect those who simply “disagree” or prefer not to wear a mask.

Since Nov. 24, people in B.C.’s indoor, public spaces have been required to wear face coverings to limit COVID-19 spread.



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

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