Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Legal Questions facing Employees

The fear and danger of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused significant economic upheaval in Canada. Employees have had to cope with the crisis and adapt to the current reality.

We have identified a number of legal issues in the form of employment law questions from an employee’s perspective resulting from the COVID-19 situation.

If these questions affect you then you may wish to speak to Karen Zvulony our employment lawyer who can discuss your particular situation with you and offer some answers to your legal questions.

Coronavirus Questions from An Employee’s Perspective

  • Does my employer have to pay me if I am unable  to work due to Covid-19? 
  • Can I lose my job if I have Covid-19?
  • Can I lose my job if I am looking after someone with Covid-19?
  • Am I entitled to any additional severance if my employment is terminated at this time? 
  • Does my employer have to accommodate me to work from home? 
  • Can I lose my job if I have to look after children who are home from school due to Covid-19 and cannot work as a result?
  • If I have paid holidays/vacation do I have to exhaust this first if I am not able to work due to Covid -19 or can I save my vacation pay/days and apply for EI? 
  • If I have paid sick days do I have to use my paid sick days before collecting a benefit from the government? 
  • If a family member is sent home due to a potential contact with a positive Covid-19 person can my employer refuse to allow me to come to work? If so, do they have an obligation to pay me?
  • Can my employer force me to self-isolate? If so, do they have to pay me during this time? 
  • Can I tell my employer I do not feel comfortable coming into work even though the company is still open and I am not showing symptoms?
  • A co-worker recently returned from abroad, I am nervous, can I refuse to go to work? 
  • Can my employer force me to get a doctor’s note?
  • What happens if my employer is refusing to give me an ROE because they say I can continue to work on a limited basis?
  • I am limited for what I can do while working at home. Can my employer make me take a pay cut or reduce my hours?
  • I am under a probationary period with my employer. How will this affect me being laid off during the Covid-19?
  • I was on sick leave unrelated to COVID-19 and am now able to return to work. My employer is saying to stay home. What do I do?
  • Can an employer still terminate me during this time, even if my job has not been affected by COVID-19?