Bill 186: New COVID-19 Leaves for Ontario Employees

On 19 March 2020, the Ontario government passed the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020. This new law provides job protected COVID-19 leaves for Ontario employees directly affected by the coronavirus. It also excuses employees affected by COVID-19 from providing sick notes to access these new leaves.  It does not mandate paid sick days …

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Federally Regulated Employees and COVID-19: What Happens To Flight Attendants, Bankers or Cross-Border Truckers If They Get Coronavirus?

Federally regulated employees with COVID-19 may be wondering what their employment law rights are. It’s easy for federally regulated workers to get lost in the mix. The vast majority of employees are provincially regulated – and there’s been a lot of press around provincially regulated Ontario employees’ new rights in light of the coronavirus pandemic. …

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Can I refuse to work because of COVID19? Coronavirus and work refusals in Ontario

Can you refuse to go to work during the coronavirus pandemic? Many Ontario workers are worried that their work or their workday commutes will expose them to coronavirus. Some of these worries are well-placed, while for others it’s (understandable) anxiety more than true risk of exposure to COVID19.NOTE: This post is general information, not legal advice. …

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Can I be fired because of coronavirus? Frequently asked COVID-19 employment law questions

Can I be fired because of coronavirus? Parents looking ahead to 3 weeks of public-school or daycare cancellations may be wondering about their options. Employees who test positive for the coronavirus or have been directed to self-isolate because of their symptoms or travel may be facing 2 weeks or more off work. Even healthy folks …

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Ontario Sick Day Rules Draw Criticism as Coronavirus Fears Grow

The Ontario Employment Standards Act was changed again in 2019. After just a year, our last post on sick days was rendered out-dated by cuts to sick day entitlements for most Ontario workers. In place of 10 days of personal emergency leave (2 of which were paid), workers are now entitled to just 3 unpaid sick days …

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Must Love Dogs: What does Ontario Law say about Guide Dogs, Service Animals and Take Your Pets to Work Policies?

Hamilton’s Mayor Fred Eisenberger made news this week  when he asserted that he would have his dog (Dash) certified as a service animal in the face of a new no-pets rule at Hamilton City Hall. Though Mayor Eisenberger seems to have walked back this claim a little and is entitled to his medical privacy, it begs a …

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Workplace Privacy Rights for the Digital Age

Changes in technology are increasingly raising questions about workplace privacy. In the span of a single generation large parts of the world have moved to a previously unfathomable level of connectivity. With this same wave of advancing technology, the average employee’s life has become far more complex.Whereas previously an office worker may have worked via …

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Trans workers’ rights are human rights: Building trans inclusive workplaces

On Trans Day of Remembrance, we remember lives lost to hateful violence or neglect. We also remember the role that we have to play in supporting trans folks in their pursuit of justice and liberation. Unfortunately, the workplace continues to be a site of violence and discrimination for many trans workers and non-binary workers- and …

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I’ve been fired. Can I sue for mental distress?

As a general rule, Canadian employees don’t get mental distress damages after a wrongful dismissal. Instead, most successful wrongful dismissal claimants get reasonable notice damages (a.k.a. pay in lieu of notice) and a portion of their legal expenses. In cases where pay in lieu of notice doesn’t go far enough, recent cases remind us that …

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Can my employer sue me for libel or defamation if I claim wrongful dismissal or discrimination?

Libel or defamation claims are at the top of some employees’ lists of fears when they consider taking action against their boss. As a general rule, an employer can’t sue you for libel or defamation just for suing them or filing a human rights complaint against them. After all, even if your lawsuit says terrible …

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