Ask Employment Lawyer Etobicoke does a worker have a right to stay home during snow days. During snow days, public school students and many working adults still had to go to work. Many individuals want to know if there is any law that says working people and school children can stay home during snow days.
Is there a law on Snow Days?
The ESA (Employment Standard Act) and OHSA (Occupational Health and Safety Act) manage the essential working conditions of working adults in Ontario. The Employment Standard Act sets least standards for bereavement, sick days, and pregnancy/parental leave, and directs what happens during the public emergency. But, ESA doesn’t talk anything about absences on snow days when the weather is very bad, and it doesn’t say anything about the public emergency.
The OHSA also does not commence a fast and hard rule. But, it needs employers to take considerable steps to avoid injury in their office areas. Depending on the work areas, the employees can get a leave on a snow day or take other compulsory measures like allowing people to go home early or allow them to work from home. These conditions are applied only if it is not safe at all for an employee to work in these conditions. Employment Lawyer Etobicoke says that other necessary steps might include providing protective warm clothing, extra breaks, or slight modifications in work duties. For instance, the film industry maintains certain norms and regulations during snow days.
Employment Lawyer Etobicoke says that the workers, who work outside or do physical labor, should be given proper training on dangers at the workplace, including how to shovel safely, safe working temperatures, and driving in stormy weather, etc.
Snow Days and Workplace Policies:
Many employers maintain stormy weather policies relate to snow days, and this polices are mentioned in their general OHSA policies. Other employers may have rules specified in collective agreements or employees contracts that apply to snow days. Educational institutes may have other responsibilities in show days for clients and workers alike.
Employment Lawyer Etobicoke advice that even if there are no such policies, employers must consider the weather conditions and change the rules accordingly. For instance, missed shift or late arrival during a stormy day, may not be punished and they don’t deserve the dismissal or discipline. Ministry of Labor, Courts and Labor Arbitrators are sluggish to defend punishment of employees who arrive late or miss work due to other unavoidable reasons.
Employers should also make a few exceptions or make it flexible when snow days blow their employees, especially on school snow days. Parents may get late to work or sometimes not able to come to the office if the school is canceled during a stormy day, and they cannot leave their kids alone at home. Employers should be flexible on this kind of situations, and these conditions may fall under the duty of the employer to accommodate employees reasonably with a parental obligation or parental status accommodation.
If the employer chooses to open the workplace during snow days can be risky, particularly if they make rules like all employees must come to work like any other normal day.