Workers’ rights during COVID-19: A webinar for front-line workers

Recorded on October 22, 2020

Many workers are uncertain about their rights at work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Do workers have the right to refuse work due to fear of exposure to COVID-19? Is there job protection if a worker chooses to stay home to care for a child or family member?

Get the latest updates as Ontario workers face unprecedented challenges on the job and working from home. What benefits and leaves are available for workers at this time and what obligations do employers have to protect them? Experts from the community legal sector will be sharing up-to-date and practical information on workers' rights during COVID-19.


  • Nabila Qureshi, staff employment lawyer at the Income Security Advocacy Clinic (ISAC)
  • John No, staff employment lawyer at Parkdale Community Legal Services (PCLS)

*ASL interpretation was provided for this webinar and is included in the recording below.

Please note there are corrections for this webinar

In the discussion of the scenario at the end of Nabila's presentation (at 17:44), it was mentioned that Maryam would not have the right to stay home from work if she has a general fear of sending her child to daycare. However, Maryam would actually have that right under the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (available under the Employment Standards Act).

This leave can be taken by workers who need to care for their child whose school or child care was closed because of a designated infectious disease (in this case, COVID-19) or because the employee did not send their child to school or child care out of fear the child would be exposed to COVID-19. More information can be found at this link: