A Toronto strip club is making vaccinations mandatory for staff and customers. Should businesses have to answer to that?


No shot, no shoes, no service?

As Ontario prepares for Step 3 of its reopening on Friday, vaccination status will be top of mind for employers, employees and the Torontonians who frequent their establishments. Some businesses may be wondering if they can compel their workers to get vaccinated; employees may not be fully aware of their rights; and consumers may be unsure if they can enter a business and demand to know whether employees are vaccinated.

In the case of Filmores Gentleman’s Club, the iconic Toronto strip club will be advertising its bared arms.

The establishment has declared all of its staff have received double vaccinations, and it will be requiring customers to declare the same before being allowed in when it reopens Friday. (Staff will still be wearing masks, while patrons will be required to do so upon entry.)

Kasper Cameron, manager at Filmores, said they decided to introduce the policy because he believes the strip club industry is already subject to unfair scrutiny, so they wanted to go beyond what is already required. He said there will be mandatory contact tracing at the door and they will be using the honour system to ask potential customers if they’ve been immunized.

“Our primary concern is safety and to allow people to get back as normal as possible, and this is the only safe avenue that we are aware of at this time … Our business model is based on being social, so it just made sense for us to go down this road,” Cameron said.

While some businesses have received backlash for offering promotions or discounts to vaccinated customers, a new poll indicates the majority of consumers are more likely to support a business that ensures its staff and clients are fully vaccinated.

When it comes to the workplace, the short answer is there is no specific law allowing employers to force employees to get vaccinated, nor is there a requirement for employees to disclose their vaccination status, though that comes with a catch, said Adam LaRoche, an employment, labour and privacy lawyer in Calgary.