HR Home Forums Answer for Coronavirus Employer Liabilities and paying emmployees during pandemics

Conner Lantz
Post count: 4836

First, check out this HRI piece about the general employer liability risks of coronavirus.   
1. Probably not because of workers’ comp ban on injured/ill workers’ suing employers for negligence.  Yes, Form 7 required if worker contracts CV at work and:

  • is absent from regular work and/or
  • earns less than regular pay for regular work (e.g., part-time hours) and/or
  • requires modified work at less than regular pay and/or
  • requires modified work at regular pay for more than seven calendar days following the date of accident

2. Yes. Workers’ comp bar on negligence lawsuits doesn’t apply to third parties, including customers, visitors, etc.
3. No because of workers’ comp bar on negligence suits by workers against employers. But you would still face potential liability under OHS, public health and other laws–just not a negligence lawsuit by a worker for money damages in civil court
4. This Q is the hardest one. Clearly, you not only can but must shut down if you’re ordered to do so. The approach you outline sounds reasonable but the rules are highly fact-specific and I can’t really assess whether your solution works without knowing much more about the situation, including whether there are any applicable collective agreements, your HR policies, the number of employees affected, etc.
Hope this helps and feel free to follow up. Glenn