The price tag the City of Hamilton will incur if is goes ahead with its present direction to terminate employees who have refused vaccination could range from $2.8 to $7.4 million. That was the bottom line in a report provided by Laura Fontana the city’s Executive Director of Human Resources. The report indicates that the city would likely have to compensate the 130 employees it is scheduled to terminate on October 1 of at least $2.8 million or $215,000 per employee. Fontana had earlier warned council that pursuing the terminations as dismissal for cause, would likely fail in the courts after the provincial government lifted its vaccine mandates. At that time, she recommended that the termination policy be paused with the possibility of reinstatement at a future date. “We don’t feel confident that if we continued with the policy, particularly with termination of employment, that we would be supported in the courts,” she told council in April. Her recommendation lost on a tie vote, and unless there is a change the terminations will go ahead October 1.
Ms. Fontana tabled her report at a noisy GIC meeting Thursday, that say unvaccinated employees and their supporters heckling councillors. Councillor Brad Clark who chaired the meeting was forced to have the public galleries cleared.