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Employment Law Update: Returning to work from the COVID-19 Quarantine in Ontario

Updated: Feb 11, 2023

As Ontario begins to slowly re-emerge from quarantine with a phased re-opening, your employer may soon ask you to return to your place of work. If you are asked to return to

your place of employment, keep in mind that your employer has a duty to protect their employees and provide a safe work environment. In this regard, if your employer requests that you return to your place of employment, your employer must ensure that they are following the guidelines put in place by the government to protect your health and safety. In certain situations, you may refuse to return to work if your employer is not following these guidelines. As a result, prior to returning to work, you may be asked by your employer if you have been exposed to, or have exhibited any symptoms associated with COVID-19, or whether you have been in physical contact with anyone that has traveled, has symptoms, or who has contracted COVID-19. Despite your right to privacy, an employer may reasonably ask such questions in order to protect you and prevent the further spread of the virus.

In situations where it is suspected that you have been exposed to, or are caring for a family member that has been exposed to COVID-19, you may be permitted to be on temporary leave from your place of work without the fear of being fired. However, if you plan to return to work after being exposed or recovering from the virus, your employer may, in some situations, request a medical note from your doctor advising that it is safe for you to return to work.

*The above is for general information purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice, as your specific situation may differ and require individual attention.*

For more information on your specific employment law situation, speak to one of our employment law litigation lawyers by booking a consultation online at, emailing us at, or reaching us by phone at 416-512-2529, and we would be happy to arrange a consultation.

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