Court: Defense forces member unfairly dismissed over Covid vaccine refusal
A court has ruled that an Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) employee was unfairly dismissed, after the individual failed to present a Covid vaccination certificate, and awarded them three months' pay as compensation.
The first-tier Tartu County Court found that at the point in time at which the EDF terminated the employee's contract, it could not have been stated as a matter of certainty that vaccination against Covid was the sole, proportionate measure in curbing the spread of the virus.
The court also pursued the case as a separate labor dispute, as the plaintiff was not an active, serving member of the EDF at the time the case was heard, but rather was working in a warehouse.
County court judge Gerty Pau said the decision does not set a precedent, and each case such must be considered on its individual merit.
In the plaintiff's case, they worked half-time in the warehouse and was: "There alone, they actually came into contact with very few people indoors, and there was no reason why the risks could not have been properly mitigated via the use of face-masks, hand disinfection, rapid testing and by all other means," Pau told ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK).
The employee was awarded an amount equivalent to three months' average Estonian salary.
Close to 50 EDF members were dismissed late last year for refusing to get vaccinated.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte