Labour & Employment Law Blog

Peel Region Employers who fail to prevent the Spread of COVID will be fined

Peel Region Employers who fail to prevent the Spread of COVID will be fined

On November 16, 2020, the Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Lawrence Loh, of the Ontario municipality of Peel issued an order under section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, R.S.O., c. H. (“Act”) 7 that sets out that Peel employers will face fines of up to $5,000 for every day that an employer fails to comply with the order.  The purpose of the order is to try to stem the uptick of COVID-19 or coronavirus spread in workplaces in Peel region.

Under the order, employers must send home any employee diagnosed with COVID-19 or has signs and symptoms of COVID-19.  The employer must also send home anyone who has been in a close contact of a person diagnosed with COVID-19.

The employer must also tell the employee to self-isolate.  The employer must also implement measures set out in various pieces of provincial legislation, the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario and “sector-specific” guidance for things such as screening, physical distancing and limiting non-essential visitors.

If two or more cases of COVID-19 occur in the workplace, the employer is mandated by this order to do a variety of actions.  For instance, the employer must immediately notify Peel Public Health, prepare a list of close contacts of the employee, maintain a log of all persons who attend the premises and provide the contact details of the site manager.

Dr. Loh also strongly encouraged employers in Peel region to provide paid sick leave to their employees so that the employees do not feel they have to choose between a paycheque and their health.

These actions follow Toronto’s medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen de Villa.  Dr. de Villa has also used section 22 of the Act to enact additional restrictions on restaurants and gyms.  These restrictions were in addition to the ones that Ontario’s provincial government had enacted under its new colour-coded COVID-19 reduction system.

Our Thoughts

These new mandates illustrate yet another incentive for employers to pull up their socks when it comes to protecting employees from the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Be aware that there is an array of rules, regulations, policies, etc. that are set in place to try protect employees and keep workplaces safe. For instance, the Occupational Health and Safety Act of Ontario and the regulations made under it.

Recently the Ontario government has attached personal liability to managers and employees of executive rank to ensure that their workplaces comply with the mandates of public health officials. Please read our blog on that topic for more information.

The bottom line is that employers have a legal duty to maintain the health and safety of its employees across all industries.  It is advisable for business of all stripes to remain up-to-date of the necessary safety protocols to be put in place for a safe and health work environment.

The above article is for general information purposes only, does not constitute legal advice or create a solicitor-client relationship. Because each case is unique and factually driven, if you have concerns with regard to the foregoing issues, please make an appointment with one of our lawyers or a qualified legal practitioner elsewhere. We represent clients in the Greater Toronto Area including Toronto, North York, Markham, Vaughan, Thornhill, Newmarket, Aurora, Brampton, Mississauga, Barrie, Ajax, Whitby, Pickering and Oshawa.

Legal Receptionist

Zeilikman Law is an employment law firm located in Vaughan, Ontario. We are looking to hire a legal receptionist to join our firm. Preference will be given to candidates who have experience working as a receptionist at another law firm.

Location: Vaughan, Ontario.

Start Date: Immediately.

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Full time. In-person only. This is not a remote work position.

Wages: 35,000 to 40,000 per year.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Manage our firm’s multi-line telephone system to receive incoming calls.  Screen incoming telephone call inquiries to determine the nature of the telephone call and provide standard information related to our legal services.  Take and deliver messages and route incoming telephone calls to the appropriate staff person.
  • Answer general inquiries coming from the firm’s social media and website email.
  • Welcome in-person visitors upon arrival.  Direct visitors to the appropriate staff person and / or office or boardroom.
  • Organize in-person visitor schedule to prevent overlap and multiple bookings.
  • Receive, sort, and distribute daily mail and deliveries.
  • Arrange for couriers.
  • Keep front reception, kitchenette area and boardroom tidy.
  • Perform various clerical duties such as filing, photocopying, and faxing on an as-needed basis.
  • Process client or other payments.
  • May be asked to run minor errands outside of office such as attending post office to arrange a courier or pick up mail.
  • May be asked to assist other law clerks or lawyers of the firm as required and as appropriate.
  • Any other basic administrative duties or tasks as deemed appropriate.

Required Skills:

  • Basic knowledge of general office procedures including filing, faxing, and printing and copying.
  • Basic word processing computer skills.
  • Proficient in receptionist and telephone practices, etiquette, and decorum.
  • Professional attitude and appearance.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Positive customer service attitude is a must.
  • Must be able to maintain confidential and sensitive information.

Education and Experience:

  • Highschool diploma or equivalent.
  • 1 – 2 years’ experience in an office setting with an emphasis in accounting, reception or clerical work is required.   We would prefer experience in a law firm environment.

Applications for this position should be sent via email to jennifer@zeilikmanlaw.com. All applications should include a cover letter, resume and at least two references. Only successful candidates will be contacted.