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My employer asked me to sign a waiver saying that if I get COVID-19 on the job, it’s not their fault. Can they do this?

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My employer asked me to sign a waiver saying that if I get COVID-19 on the job, it’s not their fault. Can they do this?
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My employer asked me to sign a waiver saying that if I get COVID-19 on the job, it’s not their fault. Can they do this?
Reviewed: 
April 3, 2020
Answer

The short answer is no. But some employers have been asking their employees to sign something called “a waiver” that says this.

In Ontario, there are rules about workplace safety. The Occupational Health and Safety Act says that employers must make sure that their workplace is safe. To do this, for example, employers must:

  • give employees information, training, and supervision
  • do everything that they reasonably can to ensure a safe workplace

An employer and employee cannot decide that they won’t follow the law. This means that an employer cannot use a waiver to get out of their duties to keep the workplace safe.

And you have the right to refuse to do work that you think is dangerous or not safe.

If your employer is not dealing with the problem, contact the Ministry of Labour to have them investigate. You can do this even if you signed a waiver.

Get legal help if you need more information about your rights.

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