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right to refuse work

COVID-19 pandemic: Fact sheet for employers and employees

In this post, we try to address some of the main questions and concerns you may have as an employer or employee in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that you will find this general information useful, but want to stress the importance of obtaining independent legal advice with respect to your individual circumstances.


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Managing the coronavirus (COVID-19) for employers

The spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been the dominating news topic of 2020 so far. Canadian health officials maintain that, at this point, the risk of contracting COVID-19 remains low in all parts of Canada. However, it is important for employers to be prepared to respond as COVID-19 continues to develop both in Canada and globally.


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Occupational Health and Safety: Duty to report and protection against reprisal

Employers should be particularly alert to the provisions of OHS Acts in considering actions taken by workers outside of the usual lines of reporting at the workplace where unsafe work conditions are alleged. The OHS Acts of each province in Atlantic Canada imbue workers with specific rights related to workplace safety.


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Grocery store employee bears cost of refusing to work on Sunday

An interesting decision was released in the retail sector which discusses a retail employee’s statutory right to refuse to work on a Sunday under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”). At issue was a new company schedule that would have forced an employee to work additional hours on a Sunday. The employee not only argued […]


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Nortel, robo-calls and refusing unlawful employer instructions

Employers normally have the right to expect that instructions to employees will be faithfully carried out. But what happens when the employer asks that employees do something dodgy or potentially illegal? What would you do when faced with an employer request you felt might not be within the law?


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Landmark decision gives insight into workplace harassment and employer reprisal

The Ontario Labour Relations Board has provided what some believe to be the most significant legal interpretation yet of workplace harassment and employer reprisal in the context of the recently enacted Bill 168 amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The case, Conforti v. Investia Financial Services Inc., 2011, was decided on September 23, 2011.


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Refusing work if workplace violence is likely to endanger

What do you do when an employee tells you she’s refusing to work because she fears she’ll suffer from an act of violence at the workplace? You might ask: can the worker even do that? With workplace violence and harassment legislation and regulation spreading across Canada, you might just need to know.


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