The Employment Law Show

Employment Law Show 640 Toronto – S9 E07

A headshot of Employment Lawyer Lior Samfiru, Co-founding Partner at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP, to the right of the Employment Law Show logo. He hosts the show on various Global News radio stations.

Episode Summary

Working remotely during the lockdown, layoffs, accommodate medical leaves, and more on Season 9 Episode 7 of the Employment Law Show on Global News Radio 640 Toronto.

Listen below as Employment Lawyer Lior Samfiru, Partner at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP, reveals your workplace rights in Toronto, the GTA, Hamilton, London, and across Ontario on the Employment Law Show. Jon shatters myths and misconceptions about severance pay, terminations, workplace harassment, overtime pay, wrongful dismissalconstructive dismissal, duty to accommodate, independent contractors, and more.

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Episode Notes

What are my options if my employer does not let me work from home?

Due to the current stay at home order by the Ontario provincial government, employees who can do their job remotely have to be allowed to do so by their employer. If an employer is refusing to allow employees to work from home, an employee should file a complaint to the Ministry of Labour.

Is it difficult to receive a settlement when leaving a company if on disability?

Severance is only offered if an employee is terminated, if an employer has refused to accommodate an employee or if an employee can prove their work environment was toxic and it is impossible to return.

I worked the same shift for years but recently my employer wants to change my schedule significantly. Do I have to agree?

Significant changes to terms of employment, such as significant shift or pay changes, do not have to be accepted and are considered a constructive dismissal. An employer also has a duty to accommodate an employee’s familial obligations.

How long can my employer keep me on a layoff?

Employers technically do not have the right to lay off employees.  Employees can treat a temporary layoff as a termination however if they choose to accept the layoff, employees can be waiting until March of 2022 to be recalled to work.

I’m an employer and I re-called an employee who was laid off but they did not return and provided me with several different doctors’ notes. What should I do?

Employers can ask specific questions of their employee’s doctor such as are there any accommodations required for this employee to return to work, how long can is this medical leave be expected to continue, etc. Employers cannot ignore a doctor’s diagnosis however asking a  third opinion is an option.

How can employees who have a medical condition navigate a potential request for vaccination by their employer?

An employer is not going to be able to mandate or require a  vaccination by their employer. However, if an employee is in a customer-facing role and there are potential health and safety considerations with the public, there are potential complications. Employees will need to properly communicate with employers of their concerns in regards to their job requirements.

I’m a truck driver and normally I go inside client buildings. I’m being asked to sign a form now in regards to COVID-19 possible exposures. Can I request to remain in my truck instead?

If an employee can still perform their duties with additional measures, such as not entering a building in order to protect themselves and other employees, they should not be penalized by their employer.

How accurate are employment lawyers’ assessments of potential severance packages?

Employment lawyers should assess severance packages based on an employee’s legal entitlements according to employment law, it should not be an opinion. The main factors for severance calculations are age, length of employment, and position of an employee.

I ran a new position at my company and then I was temporarily laid off and told I would be re-instated. I haven’t been re-instated. What are my options?

Significant changes to employment can be considered a constructive dismissal. However, if there has been a long passage of time in which an employee accepted these changes, an employer can perceive this as implied consent.

I was laid off due to a shortage of work and haven’t been called back despite my employer hiring new staff. What should I do?

An initial temporary layoff is not permissible. An employee can choose to treat the layoff as termination and pursue severance. Federally regulated employees can also request to be re-instated.

I had a claim with the Labour Board and won but the business went under. Can I still receive wages that were owed to me?

If wages were unpaid, an employee has a right to receive their compensation and can directly pursue compensation from the owner personally.

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