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COVID-19 Q&A for CP Election Coverage
By  CMG  •  Posted on  August 19, 2021

Dear members,

 

We are aware some of you will be covering the elections on the road and/or have in-person assignments. The following Q&A may be helpful as you partially resume work in the field or in the office. 

 

What are the prescribed health and safety measures that an employer must follow?

 

https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-coronavirus-and-workplace-health-and-safety

 

Employers have the duty to keep workers and workplaces safe and free of hazards. Workers have the right to refuse unsafe work.

 

Every employer must have a COVID-19 safety plan. What should it contain?

 

https://www.ontario.ca/page/resources-prevent-covid-19-workplace

 

To consult the COVID-19 safety plan, a request may be made to the health and safety committee for more information. 

 

Did you know you are covered by your respective provincial workers compensation system if you contract COVID-19 at work?

 

We recommend following the workers compensation process outlined in your respective province of work and file a claim if applicable. Here is the WSIB process as an example only, covering members in Ontario.

 

https://www.wsib.ca/en/businesses/claims/report-injury-or-illness

 

 Please refer to the similar website of your province of work.

 

I think I contracted Coronavirus (COVID-19) at work. Should I file a claim? 

 

While the nature of some people’s work may put them at greater risk of contracting the virus, for example, those treating someone with COVID-19, any claims received by the WSIB (or other provincial worker’s compensation board) will need to be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the facts and circumstances.

 

– If you contracted COVID-19 while at work (you have a diagnosis or symptoms of COVID-19),  you should tell your employer about your illness and any medical treatment you received right away, and you may file a claim to determine if you are eligible for WSIB (or other provincial worker’s compensation board) coverage. 

 

– If you believe you were exposed to COVID-19 while at work, but you are not ill at this time (you do not have a diagnosis or symptoms of COVID-19), please do not file a claim. Instead, you can report an exposure incident. Reporting your exposure is voluntary, but if you become ill in the future, we’ll be able to process your claim faster.

 

– It is against the law for your employer to discourage you from reporting a workplace injury or illness to the WSIB (or other provincial worker’s compensation board), or to influence you to withdraw or abandon your claim for example https://www.wsib.ca/en/faqs-about-claims-and-covid-19

 

What if I am immunocompromised or immunosuppressed or have a documented medical condition?

 

An employer has a legal duty to accommodate employees with an illness or disability that makes them vulnerable to COVID-19 up to the point of undue hardship. This means that the employer must make adjustments so that employees can continue working in a way that is safe unless it would be unduly costly or unsafe to do so.

 

For example, working from home is a common accommodation for immunocompromised or immunosuppressed employees. If working from home is not possible, attempts should be made to explore the possibility of other accommodations, with an unpaid leave being the last option.

 

For more information on the accommodation process please visit your provincial human rights commission. Here’s some additional information from the  Human Rights Legal Support Centre of Ontario https://www.hrlsc.on.ca/en/how-guides-and-faqs/your-right-accommodation.

 

Please take note that while the Human Rights Code is provincially based the outlined principles above are similar in nature across jurisdictions.

 

If you have any other questions or concerns, please reach out to me. Thanks for everything you do and be safe!

 

Julie-Anne Vondrejs,

Staff Representative, Canadian Media Guild

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