An employment lawyer breaks down abandoning employment and working from home


Interview Summary

As employers and businesses shift to an in-person routine once again, some employees are questioning whether or not they have to return to the office. Rising cases of COVID-19 have also given rise to questions of health and safety at the workplace. If requested to return to the office, what rights do employees have to refuse?

Jon Pinkus, a Toronto employment lawyer and Partner at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP spoke to CityNews on the current shift in workplace accommodations.

Interview Notes

  • Employees requesting to remain working from home: Employees who refuse to return to the office if requested by their employer could be considered to have abandoned their jobs.
  • Accommodations for employees with medical conditions to work remotely: “If your doctor says it’s unsafe for you to be working around others, it’s a different story,” says Pinkus.
  • Possibility of a hybrid work model: Employers seem to be accommodating a hybrid work arrangement, although it is not always possible.

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