As of July 1, British Columbians are no longer required to cover their airways in public spaces. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth even cancelled the province’s Ministerial Order that labeled COVID-19 a pandemic that “poses a significant threat to the health, safety and welfare of the residents of British Columbia...” and put the province in a state of emergency.
But despite these long-awaited changes and steps towards the return of a free and healthy society, a few businesses are starting to create their own policies that go above and beyond public health orders, and punish employees who they believe are unvaccinated for COVID-19 or choose to not wear a mask at work.
In this report, I take you on-site to an Eddie Bauer store located in Tsawwassen Mills Mall in Delta, B.C. You will see the exact moment the store manager suspends then-employee Abigail Smart for choosing to work without a mask on, without first disclosing her vaccination status to the company.
It gets worse than that! We also followed up with Abigail eight days after her suspension without pay, and you won’t believe how she was spoken to by Kristin Bowling Manning, Eddie Bauer’s Regional Human Resource Manager. While at first Abigal was suspended, she was later officially fired.
I tried to reach out to Eddie Bauer for a statement, as well as clarification regarding their company's COVID related policies, but did not hear back. It would have been great to hear from them about the purpose of forcing asymptomatic and healthy employees to wear a mask. Especially since fully vaccinated individuals can still catch, transmit, be hospitalized for, and die with COVID-19.
If you find it refreshing that a news outlet is even covering the other side of the story when it comes to COVID-19 restrictions, click here to donate to our Fight the Fines charity. We’ve partnered with the Democracy Fund to provide free legal counsel to thousands of Canadians who have been slapped with COVID-related fines and charges.
Eddie Bauer responded to a Twitter user regarding this story, saying that the company's “top priority” is the “health and safety of our customers, associates and members of our community,” and added that vaccinated employees were given more privileges than those who are unvaccinated.