Employees across the province are in a state of uncertainty. Many are seeking answers for their employment related concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is an unprecendented time; we are facing a global economic disruption impacting every business sector. Find the questions and answer you are searching, if it is not listed here, please call me to discuss your case.
Here are some answers you may be looking for:
- Can I refuse to work because of COVID-19 concerns for my safety?
If your workplace poses a clear danger to your health and safety, you may be able to refuse work. More specifically, you may have to consider the nature of the workplace, what type of risks in terms of safety, your needs (whether medical), and also what is considered reasonable under the circumstances.
- Can I refuse work if I have school-aged children to take care of?
Every employer in Ontario must accommodate your family status. Accommodation can differ from every person, in each case, they should allow you to reasonably search for childcare, adjust your work hours or allow options to work from home if possible. Your employer has to try to make things fair for you without causing undue hardship for them.
- Does my employer have obligation to keep the workplace safe?
An employer has responsibilities and obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to maintain a safe and healthy work environment. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, notify your employer right away and seek medical attention, your employer must put you on medical leave for the duration of your sickenss or quearantine period. If you are experiencing workplace bullying, assault and/or harassment, speak to your HR department or employer right away. If you want PPEs to be available in your workplace, speak with your employer to see what is reasonbale under the circumstances, if in doubt, call me.
- Can my employer make me come to work when we are a non-essential?
The government has declared an emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, which means, it is an offence to be in non-compliance with the order. You can report to your local authorities if this is the case.
- Can I refuse work if my only method of trasportation is public transit?
The best approach is to speak with your employer about your concerns. Go over things that you are worried about and communicate to your employer on how the concerns can affect you and the workplace. Your employer has obligations to reasonably accommodate you if you have legitimate reasons that can affect your health and safety.
- I have been laid off because of COVID-19, what are my rights?
If you have been laid off because of the negative impact of COVID-19 at your workplace, due to recent changes the government has placed, it does not automaticcaly assume termination. If you are the only worker that was not called back to work, you may have a constructive dismissal case, in which you should be receiving a severance package. The Employment Standards Act (ESA) determines the minimum amount of severence pay while the common law standards are much higher. For proper calculation, you must consider your age, position, years of service, and the terms of your employment contract. To discuss this further, please call me.
- I have been terminated for cause, what are my rights?
Keep in mind, for cause is reserved for the worst types of workplace misconducts. Often times, employers do not understand the capacity of for cause terminations. If you think your termination was not for cause, you may not need to accept your termination on that basis. Call me today to discuss your case.