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Returning to Work During the Pandemic (Recorded Webinar)

Recorded on: 
May 20, 2020
45 minutes

Summary: Do you have questions about returning to work during the pandemic? In this 45-minute webinar, employment lawyers Sara Forte and Jim Wu answer common questions being asked by British Columbians who are being called back to work.


In this webinar, you will learn:

  • What workers can do if they don’t feel safe returning to work. [5:45]
  • Six safety measures established by WorkSafeBC that your employer must follow. [6:45]
  • The factors a court will consider in assessing whether a change in your job amounts to a “constructive dismissal”. [12:10]
  • Risks to be weighed before asserting a claim for constructive dismissal [14:30], including risks to your eligibility to receive employment insurance (EI) benefits. [15:25
  • A framework for having a difficult conversation with your employer, using as an example a request to continue to work from home. [18:00]
  • Your rights in relation to who is called back and in what order, and what amounts to discrimination. [26:40
  • What happens to protected leave for parents with school-aged children. [29:45]
  • What happens if you decide not to return to work. [31:40]
  • The obligation on employees to self isolate — and corresponding obligation of employers to enforce it — where employees display certain symptoms. [38:45]
  • Situations where employers need to provide masks to their employees. [41:30]
  • How to prepare for a conversation with your employer if you’re experiencing anxiety or other mental illness that prevents you from returning to work. [43:45]  

Attendee feedback

"Thank you for soooo much for all the information that helps me a lot!"

"Thanks for such relevant information. Have a great day!"

"Thanks for organizing this Q & A. Very enlightening!"

"Thank you. The presentation is a good help to start a conversation going in and out of the workplace with direction."

"These webinars are fantastic. Thank you so much! I use the materials for myself and my employment clients."

"Great information and extremely helpful to our legal program."

"Thanks for the webinar, it was informative and you did not go over the 45 mins. It is appreciated."

Additional resources 

WorkSafeBC resources about safety in the workplace during COVID-19.

Forte Law’s blog posts on coronavirus questions.

Resources from People’s Law School: