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A growing number of businesses in Ontario have begun implementing COVID-19 vaccine mandates for their employees. Some businesses are taking an all-or-nothing approach whereby if an employee refuses to comply with a mandatory vaccination policy, they will be fired. Other businesses are offering an alternative whereby an employee who refuses to be vaccinated, must submit to mandatory testing every week and in some cases, multiple times per week. The question employers and employees alike are…
At the beginning of the pandemic, a multitude of job losses following the emergency lockdown prompted the federal government to implement the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). CERB was set up to provide employed and self-employed Canadians who were affected by COVID-19 with financial support in the form of temporary income replacement. Eligible workers received $2,000 for a 4-week period between March 15 and September 26, 2020. CERB retroactive applications were closed effective December 2,…
Canadian employers got a break on their benefits plan costs last year as employees largely stayed home and avoided in-person health practitioners. But experts say the full cost of COVID-19 may only start to show up in the coming year, as mental health challenges, pandemic-delayed treatment for various illnesses and the virus itself could prompt more employees to claim or extend short- or long-term disability. Private insurers saved an estimated $4.8 billion in health practitioner…
By Jordan Reiner, Partner – Lecker & Associates When it comes to the COVID-19 vaccination, some employers are mandating that their employees be vaccinated before returning to the office. If you as an employee find yourself in a similar situation, you may be asking yourself, “can my employer force me to be vaccinated,” “what are my rights and entitlements.” Here are some commonly asked questions we have received from employees in Ontario. Q: Can…
On June 1, 2020, the Ford government introduced amendments to the Employment Standards Act (ESA), the governing statutes that form Ontario’s employment laws. The amendments took the form of O. Reg. 228/20: Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (“IDEL”). IDEL was enacted by the Ontario government as a measure to furlough (e.g. “layoff”) employees who may or may not have contracted COVID-19. The legislation allows employers to continue temporary layoffs for a maximum of 51 and 9/10ths
No matter how much we love our job, there can come a time when an individual is undergoing a mental disability, such as tremendous stress, burnout, anxiety, and depression, and medical leave is both necessary and recommended by a physician. Prior to and in the wake of COVID-19, the mental health crisis has severely increased and Canadian workplaces are riddled with suffering employees. So, what do you do if you are in this position? Can…
As the proverbial dust from the chaotic storm of events caused by the COVID-19 pandemic begins to settle, more and more cases addressing its impact on employee rights are being decided. In Ristanovic v. Corma Inc., and Eliyahu Asafov v Corma Inc., 2021, ONSC 4108, the employee Plaintiffs (who were successfully represented by Jordan Reiner – partner at Lecker & Associates) were awarded 22 months of reasonable notice. Beyond the high damages awarded, the case…
As employment lawyers, we regularly take on cases involving clients who have trouble accessing their employee benefits to get through short-term and long-term illnesses and injuries. Such benefits are administered by third-party private insurers. Claim processes are complicated and applications denied often, leaving ill, injured and disabled individuals to seek out legal services for recourse. For well over 30 years, such cases cause us to decry the lack of a national equivalent program administered…
As COVID-19 vaccines are made available to an increasing segment of the population and vaccine rollout expands, many are excited about the prospects of returning to some semblance of normalcy. For many, this involves a return to the workplace. Accordingly, employees and employers will have to wrestle with the challenge of their legal rights and responsibilities respecting vaccinations. As is the case with hard dilemmas, there are competing interests that are difficult to reconcile. A…
As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to rage and businesses are once again forced to shutter, more and more employees are finding themselves on the receiving end of a temporary layoff or a termination. For those employees who are placed on a temporary layoff, their job security and prospects of a return are left up in the air, resulting in further stress, anxiety, and insecurity in an already precarious and uncertain time. Fortunately, employees should rest…