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October 16, 2020

(TORONTO) – The Ontario Federation of Labour, which represents 54 unions and one million workers and advocates for all working people in Ontario, is urging all-party support for MPP Mike Schreiner’s Private Members Bill 200, entitled Employment Standards Amendment Act (Sick Notes), 2020.

Bill 200, if passed, would permanently prevent employers from requesting sick notes from employees, a practice that was shelved in Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The OFL and our community allies have long advocated that the practice of requiring workers visit a doctor, while sick, simply to get a note that states they’re sick, is problematic on many fronts”, said Ontario Federation of Labour President Patty Coates. “Requiring employees provide a sick note is not only a burden on an already over-stretched health care system, but also poses increased and unnecessary health risks to the employee and public health in general.”

“Doug Ford has repeatedly said ‘if you’re sick, stay home.’ It’s time the Ford government permanently cement that direction into legislation. We are calling on politicians of every stripe to do more for working people, and that starts with support of MPP Schreiner’s Private Members Bill 200,” said Coates.

The previous government removed the requirement to provide a sick note with Bill 148. After being elected, the Ontario Conservatives used Bill 47 to reverse that change, then removed the sick note requirement again with Bill 186 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The working people of Ontario need a host of labour and employment reforms to thrive,” said OFL Executive Vice-President Janice Folk-Dawson. “Critical and needed reforms include legislated employer-paid sick days, a living wage, and easier access to unionization for every worker in Ontario.”

MPP Schreiner is expected to table his proposed legislation in Ontario’s legislature on October 21, 2020.

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:

Rob Halpin
Executive Director
Ontario Federation of Labour
rhalpin@ofl.ca  l 416-707-9014 

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