City of Burlington mandates indoor masks for employees

Staff meetings, gatherings also paused for six weeks

City of Burlington mandates indoor masks for employees

The City of Burlington in Ontario is mandating indoor masks for city staff. The temporary measures start on Monday, Nov. 28 and will last for six weeks, until Jan. 8. 2022. 

The decision was made by the leadership team to address increased absence due to illness and to provide a safer workplace, it says.

“The City took these steps because of a perfect storm of prolonged challenges that are significantly impacting the City’s workforce and ability to deliver services to the community.

“Challenges include respiratory viruses circulating in the community, City staff are stretched thin and this current situation is not sustainable. The province’s healthcare systems are also stretched to the breaking point.”

Staff will be required to wear a mask while indoors in City workplaces, with limited exemptions where masking is not feasible, such as water aquatic activities.

Recently, Canadian HR Reporter spoke with two employment lawyers to get their take on the legalities of mask mandates.

In addition, staff meetings or gatherings at the City of Burlington have been paused wherever possible; for example, mandatory training will still go ahead.

The municipality is also recommending masks indoors for the public in City facilities.

Masks are one of the most effective individual public health measures that we can use to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19, according to the federal government.

“When layered with other public health measures, a well-constructed, well-fitting and properly worn mask can help prevent you from:

  • getting COVID-19 (they reduce the amount of infectious respiratory particles you inhale)
  • spreading COVID-19 to others (they contain the infectious respiratory particles you produce if you're infected, even if you don't have symptoms)."

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