Fri | Dec 3, 2021

Cari-Med, AIC workers seek court injunction blocking COVID vaccine policy

Published:Wednesday | October 20, 2021 | 2:26 PM

Five employees of pharmaceutical company Cari-Med and four workers of investment firm AIC Jamaica have gone to court seeking an injunction against the enforcement of their companies' COVID vaccine policies.

The Cari-Med workers, including a pregnant woman, claim that the entity's COVID policy breaches their constitutional rights while the AIC Jamaica employees allege contract violations.

The groups filed their separate claims in the Supreme Court in Kingston yesterday. 

Kirk-FP Limited (formerly Kirk Distributors), a subsidiary of the Cari-Med Group, was also named as defendant.  

Dates for the hearing of the applications for injunctions have not yet been set.  

The Cari-Med employees, which include three managers, say they are not against vaccination but have submitted various reasons they cannot take the COVID jab at this time.  

The pregnant claimant alleged that she had informed her employer that she previously had a negative reaction to the H1N1 and H3N2 vaccination and was advised by her doctor to avoid vaccination for her safety and that of her unborn child. 

Two other claimants said they also submitted medical reasons while another had sought exemption on religious grounds. 

The workers say the policy threatens their constitutional rights to life, liberty and security of the person, among others.  

Cari-Med's vaccination policy took effect on October 4.

It requires all employees to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or present a negative PCR test twice per month at their own expense to be admitted at work. 

Employees who are approved for medical exemption must also provide PCR test results at their own expense twice a month.  

Meanwhile, the AIC  Jamaica workers are contending that the company has sought to impose its vaccination policy without any consultation or consent. 

The policy which took effect on September 15 mandates that all unvaccinated employees submit a weekly negative COVID-19 test result as a condition of their employment. 

It further dictates that all employees must either be fully or partially vaccinated by September 23 and that workers who choose not to get vaccinated would not be allowed to attend the company and would be 'deemed to be absent without pay'. 

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