The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act is clear:
"All workers' rights under OHSA include:
The "right to participate" to be part of the process of identifying and resolving health and safety concerns. This right is expressed mainly in the requirements for Joint Health and Safety Committees and representatives.
The "right to know" about any hazards to which they may be exposed. The requirements of the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) are an important example.
The "right to refuse work" that they believe is dangerous and, under certain circumstances, certified Joint Health and Safety Committee members can stop work that is dangerous."
The Novel Coronavirus has created unique challenges for workers in the Province of Ontario. The Waterloo Regional Labour Council cannot provide advice to individuals but, will share information in a timely manner so that all workers can be informed of their rights. The links below are provided for information purposes only.
- Ministry of Labour Health and Safety - Rights and Duties of Workers Information
- Ministry of Labour - Work Refusal Information
- CBC News Video - Coronavirus: COVID-19 and Employment Rights in the Workplace
- The Toronto Star - Coronavirus Q&A: Toronto employment lawyer answered your questions about worker rights and insurance during COVID-19
- Goldblatt Partners - Employment Standards Act amended to respond to COVID-19
- Samfiru Tumarkin LLP - COVID-19 & Employment Rights: Everything You Need to Know
Need further support?
Workers are able to contact the Ministry of Labour directly if they have any questions:
Ministry of Labour Health & Safety Contact Centre
- Toll-free: 1-877-202-0008
- TTY: 1-855-653-9260
- Fax: 905-577-1316
- File a complaint online