I live in Ontario Canada and I have recently been off due to covid 19 as my mother is immunosuppressed and I felt it was

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Customer: I live in Ontario Canada and I have recently been laid off due to covid 19 as my mother is immunosuppressed and I felt it was unsafe to work. 1 month later my employer has recalled me to work. I do not feel comfortable returning to work as I live with my mom and I know that my coworkers are not able to maintain social distancing . I am wonder what rights I have to refuse work
JA: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: No
JA: Are you an "at will" employee? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: At will
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I work in a veterinary clinic
Answered by JJL11 in 10 hours 2 years ago
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JJL11, Expert

Hello... My name is ***** ***** I'm happy to assist you today with your question. I am a licensed Ontario lawyer who can answer questions about employment law.

Can you tell me more about your situation ? Do you work part time or is it on a contract basis ?

Customer
I am a full time employee, I never signed any contract
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JJL11, Expert

Have you talked to your employer about taking a temporary leave until the Covid-19 situation has improved to avoid quitting your job ?

Customer
Back in March I spoke with them about my situation and asked for a leave and they laid me off at that time. This is why I am very confused as to why they
Customer
have asked me to return to work
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JJL11, Expert

I suggest you clarify why they want you back now, probably because they need workers.

If you are not comfortable going back yet, you can negotiate with your employer about returning at a later date when you feel that it is safer to return and see how it goes.

Customer
If they are not willing to negotiate and I still do not feel comfortable returning to work what kind of rights do I have to protect my EI
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JJL11, Expert

If they want you back and you refuse, your employer may treat this like you quit your job.

Usually, if you quit you job, you cannot get EI. However, if you quit your job because of health and safety reasons, you most likely will get EI because this is one of the recognized reasons to justify quitting your job under EI law.

Are you receiving EI right now ?

Customer
I am receiving CERB right now
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JJL11, Expert

In that case, you should continue to receive CERB. If your employer notifies EI that you refused to come back to work, EI may contact you to ask for an explanation. At that time, you can explain why you could not return.

Due to the special circumstances of Covid-19 and your mother's health, you have a valid reason for refusing.

Customer
Thank you for your help, this eases my mind knowing I have some grounds
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JJL11, Expert

Thank you for allowing me to help you with your questions.

Please don't forget to rate me to let me know I have answered your question to your satisfaction so that JustAnswer knows to give me credit for helping you.

A 5 star rating would be greatly appreciated if you were fully satisfied !

Customer
Absolutely, thank you !
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