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

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

People watch burning funeral pyres of their relatives who died of COVID-19 in a ground that has been converted into a crematorium in New Delhi, India, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Infections in India hit another grim daily record that day as demand for medical oxygen jumped seven-fold and the government denied reports that it was slow in distributing life-saving supplies from abroad. (AP Photo/Ishant Chauhan)
Liam’s Lowdown: Tell us more how COVID-19 is impacting B.C.

Compared to other provinces, B.C. releases less data on COVID-19 infections and vaccinations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

The five graduating members of the Vernon-based Thompson Okanagan Lakers U18AAA girls hockey team – Jessica Engelbrecht (from left), Makenna Howe, Cheree Peters, Jayden Perpelitz, and Alexis Bishop – have all committed to collegiate hockey programs in Canada and the U.S. (Photo submitted)
Vernon-based hockey squad sends 5 to college ranks

Thompson Okanagan U18AAA Lakers players heading to Canadian and U.S. programs

Richard Green writes poetry under the nom de plume Rick the Poet Warrior. Homeless, Green sometimes spends his summers in Revelstoke but winters in Victoria, travelling to Ontario to visit his sister whenever he can. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke nomad pens poetry, offers insight into homelessness

Rick the Poet Warrior’s books can be found online as well as at the Revelstoke library

(Pixabay photo)
NHL bracket challenge supporting Indigenous awards at Okanagan College

One or more Indigenous students experiencing financial barriers will be able to receive an award

Sisters Audrey Cunningham and Donna Erdman, join the Vernon Kalamalka Chorus singing in their cars, tuned into the radio, under the direction of Debbie Parmenter. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Okanagan choir steers around COVID with ‘carbershop’ twist

Singers find a unique way to practice during pandemic restrictions

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A Falkland man will present a 600+ signature petition to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District board Thursday, May 20, opposing dog control in Electoral Area D, which includes Falkland, Silver Creek, Salmon Valley and Ranchero/Deep Creek. (File photo)
600-plus sign Falkland man’s petition against dog control

Similar bylaw rejected by 200 public hearing attendees when topic came up 9 years ago

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Notes of hope, encouragement and camaraderie were left on the message board inside the kitchen of TacoTime. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Adiós, Taco Tuesday: Kelowna residents flock to TacoTime on restaurant’s final day

‘We don’t need another Starbucks. We need tacos on Tuesday, with extra hot sauce’

Most Read