March 20, 2020by Israel Foulon LLP
Since our March 18, 2020 E-Bulletin, there have been further changes of which employers should be aware (a few key details are listed below):
- On March 19, 2020, the Ontario government introduced and passed legislation that provides unpaid job-protected leave to employees related to COVID-19. The legislation provides unpaid job protection for employees unable to work for the following reasons:
- The employee is under medical investigation, supervision, or treatment for COVID-19.
- The employee is acting in accordance with an order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
- The employee is in isolation or quarantine.
- The employee is acting in accordance with public health information or direction.
- The employer directs the employee not to work in response to a concern of the employer that the employee may expose other individuals in the workplace.
- The employee needs to provide care to a specified person for a reason related to COVID-19 such as a school or day-care closure.
- The employee is directly affected by travel restrictions and, under the circumstances, cannot reasonably be expected to travel back to Ontario.
- The legislation provides that an employee will not be required to provide a medical note if they take the leave but the employer can still request “evidence reasonable in the circumstances.” The legislation is retroactive to January 25, 2020, the date that the first presumptive COVID-19 case was confirmed in Ontario, and will be in place while COVID-19 is ongoing.
- For more information regarding the legislation, please review the Ontario government’s newsroom release: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/03/employment-standards- amendment-act-infectious-disease-emergencies-2020.html
- Please visit the following link for updated information regarding COVID-19 in Ontario generally: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus?_ga=2.82237718.1658524347.1584548353- 1383119943.1559670979
Given the exceptional and unprecedented situation, we expect further developments in the coming hours and days.
Israel Foulon’s Response to COVID-19
Israel Foulon is assessing the situation as it evolves, and is taking all necessary precautions within its workplace. However, please be aware that our offices remain open and are fully functioning. In the circumstances, we encourage our clients to contact us by phone and email to the extent possible. Voicemail messages left at our office phone numbers are immediately forwarded via email. All messages will be promptly responded to. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our clients and would be more than happy to assist you with concerns regarding COVID-19 or any other employment or labour matters.