Vancouver Pharmacist Sues London Drugs Alleging Wrongful Dismissal Over COVID-19 Vaccine, Testing Policies

A Vancouver-based pharmacist is suing her former employer after she alleges the company wrongfully terminated her employment over their COVID-19 policies.

Lina Reid, who was a 16-year employee of London Drugs and worked out of the Burnaby location at The Amazing Brentwood (formerly known as Brentwood Town Centre), claims that on November 1st, 2021, the company wrongfully terminated her employment due to her not being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as well as failing to agree to regular COVD-19 testing.

In the Notice of Civil Claim, Ms. Reid alleges that there was “no explicit or implicit agreement or term of employment between herself and the Defendant that allowed the Defendant to mandate that the plaintiff undergo vaccination or testing,” adding that she believed she had been able to operate sufficiently by following other public health guidelines, such as masking and social distancing — and, as such, feels London Drug’s COVID-19 policies were “ineffective, disproportionate, unreasonable and unnecessary” and “motivated by political reasons,” as well as “infringed upon her privacy rights and bodily autonomy.”

In response to the lawsuit, which was first reported by the Vancouver Sun, many have spoken out — some in support of Ms. Reid — while the majority of commentors on the Sun’s social media pages were praising London Drugs for their policy. “Hope she enjoys her retirement, because no one in our profession will ever hire her,” said Real Canadain Superstore Pharmacy Manager, Kevin Cox.

While I cannot attest to Ms. Reid’s beliefs on COVID-19, I can’t say I’m surprised…

I, too, have also had my own dealings with Ms. Reid back in 2018 when she refused to fill a medication (for my chronic migraines) that I had been prescribed and was taking long-term — for no reason other than the fact that she thought she could. Her reasoning? It was “too early” (by 5 days) and that she didn’t want me to have to pay the early dispensing fee. When I told her I would pay the fee irregardless of how much it was, she still refused. As a result, this left me without my medication, and suffering in pain, for 5 long, excruciating days — and anyone who has ever had a migraine knows how truly awful they can be. As a result of this incident, I wound up filing a complaint against Ms. Reid with the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia. Ultimately, the pharmacy manager at the time then got involved and rectified the situation — but ever since then, Ms. Reid always made it a point to treat me terribly whenever I did need to make a trip to the pharmacy if she happened to be on staff and was the only pharmacist available at the time of my visit, which made my overall experience at London Drugs very uncomfortable for the last 4 years. So, needless to say, I am happy she is no longer an employee of the company. Furthermore, I commend London Drugs for having a policy in place that not only works to protect their own staff, but their customers as well. I don’t know how Ms. Reid’s lawsuit will bode for her, especially considering yesterday’s announcement from Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, and Health Minister, Adrian Dix, that vaccines are now mandatory for all healthcare workers — including pharmacists!

While I can understand people not wanting to get vaccinated for their own reasons — that is a personal choice — and sometimes the choices we make have consequences.

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