Can I be fired for working from home because of Covid-19?

Tips to help you decide whether or not to work from home during the coronavirus outbreak.

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With over 100,000 cases to date and thousands more new cases arising daily, the new coronavirus (Covid-19) has companies and their employees considering their work from home options.  Whether discretionary or mandatory, people are beginning to face the reality of working from home. for an extended period of time. Here are a few tips and FAQs to help you decide what to do:

1. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the below are symptoms that appears within 2-14 days of exposure to the coronavirus.  While the current risk of exposure remains low, you should consider self-isolation if these symptoms appears and seek medical attention if your health condition worsens:

  • Fever above 100 degrees farenheit
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of break
  • Fatigue

2. Given the virality of coronavirus and the delayed onset, anyone who shows signs of the illness should be separated from employees and sent home immediately.  Anyone who has come into direct contact with the employee should also self-isolate and work from home for 14 days.

3. Anyone who has travelled cross-border to a high risk country, or who has been in contact with someone who has travelled to one, is at an elevated risk of exposure to the virus. They should work from home and self-isolate for 14 days.

4. You are permitted to leave work and seek medical attention, and to get tested for the Coronavrius if you have a suspected case.  An employer may require an employee to go home or work from home if they exhibit symptoms of Covid-19.

5. Employees are not protected from being fired if they choose to stay home without employer approval due to fears of contracting the virus.  An exception to this would be if there is imminent danger and reasonable cause to suspect physical harm. However, most workplace situations are nowhere near this type of situation.  The workplace would have to force an employee into a scenario without sufficient precautions where they would be in imminent danger of contracting the virus.

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