2. Learn about “reasonable cause” to quit or refuse a job

Beware of scams

People have been getting phone calls with a pre-recorded message telling them their Ontario Works account has been deleted.

This is a scam to trick you into sharing your personal information. If you get a call like that, hang up the phone. You can report these calls to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

If looking for work is one of the activities in your Participation Agreement, Ontario Works (OW) can reduce your or cut it off unless you're trying:

  • to find work, and
  • to keep any work that you're doing.

So, for example, this could happen if you quit a job or refuse to take a job while you're on OW.

But this should not happen if OW thinks you have a good reason. OW sometimes calls this “reasonable cause” or “cause”.

Reasons for quitting or not taking a job

You might have “reasonable cause” to quit or refuse to do a job if, for example, a workplace is not safe or is dangerous to your health.

Other examples of “reasonable cause” might be:

  • having a health problem that stops you from doing your job
  • being sexually harassed at work, or harassed for other reasons like race, religion, or sexual orientation, or because you have a disability
  • needing to be at home on a regular basis to care for a child
  • having no way to get to a job because public transit does not go there

Your OW worker should meet with you and listen to what you have to say before deciding if you have “reasonable cause”.

You may need to bring proof about why you quit or refused to take a job. See Step 3.

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