Will employers allow employees to remain at home as schools open?

A headshot of Ottawa employment lawyer Alex Lucifero next to the logos for Samfiru Tumarkin LLP and Ottawa radio station Newstalk 580 CFRA.

As the school year resumes, concerns of contracting COVID-19 are once again rising. What options do parents have if their child becomes ill? Will employees be forced to choose between childcare and their employment? Ottawa employment lawyer Alex Lucifero at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP joins Ottawa Now’s Kristy Cameron to discuss these questions and more.

What They Discussed

  • Can you ask for time off from your employer if you need to quarantine or your child does? The reason for the request matters. If a child is sick and they are unable to return to school or daycare an employee will have to be accommodated.
  • Will returning to work be going against medical advice? Unless you cannot secure other forms of childcare, an employer has a legal right to ask an employee to return to work.
  • Many employees were given flexibility in terms of working from home months ago that is now being taken away. Can employers remove allowances that were made before? Employers are within their rights to call for a return to work if they were previously working remotely. However employers also have an obligation to make sure the workplace is safe.

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