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March 12, 2020

The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) urges Ontario’s government to take immediate action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our province by providing at least seven paid sick days and ten days of job-protected, paid emergency leave for all workers. In addition, immediately scrap the law that allows employers to require workers provide a doctor’s note when they are sick or need to access emergency leave.

“The same government that took two paid sick days away from all Ontario workers is now recommending that workers stay home when they are sick, while still refusing to provide protections for paid sick days,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Patty Coates. “I call on the Ontario Conservatives to end this hypocrisy and provide paid sick days and decent work provisions for all workers, effective immediately.”

The Ontario Conservatives cancelled decent work laws in 2018, taking away two paid sick days from workers across the province.

The Ontario Federation of Labour has long called for sufficient paid sick days for workers, paid emergency leave, and stopping employers from requiring a doctor’s note from employees who take sick days. We repeat that call today.

“This pandemic will disproportionately affect vulnerable communities, particularly Indigenous communities that still lack access to health care, clean water and sufficient housing. Gig workers, and those precariously employed will also suffer disproportionate repercussions. The homeless population is also at great risk,” said Coates. “It’s time for all levels of government to take public health seriously, recognize that decent work laws are good for everyone in this province, and take immediate action.”

The Ontario Federation of Labour represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.

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For more information, please contact:

Meagan Perry
Communications Director
Ontario Federation of Labour
mperry@ofl.ca | 416-894-3456

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