Health & Wellness

Co worker got covid - Manager hush hush about it.

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 23rd, 2021 2:36 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
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Feb 19, 2010
1381 posts
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YYC

Co worker got covid - Manager hush hush about it.

Hey guys, one of my co worker got covid (positive test) but our manager is not informing us or anything. We found out by our co worker telling us. Is this against the law by our work not telling us? Who should I contact? Thank you
17 replies
Member
Mar 12, 2013
305 posts
124 upvotes
Edmonton
its all about business .. .they want to run the business and do not care of what happens to the employees. Also there is a policy if the worker was in near contact for 15 minutes. near contact means within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes...

the policies are not clear though and the managers tend to mend their way what works best for their business
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Jul 7, 2017
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Poutinesauce wrote: Employees are essentially meat shields to their employers. They are utterly replaceable economic entities.
Yep, replaceable cogs in the machine.
Cream rises to the top. So does scum.
Sr. Member
Jul 24, 2019
733 posts
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Canada
BensonNV wrote: Hey guys, one of my co worker got covid (positive test) but our manager is not informing us or anything. We found out by our co worker telling us. Is this against the law by our work not telling us? Who should I contact? Thank you
An employer can't reveal health records of an employee to another employee.
Your coworker told you, but did not have to do it. It's their health record. It's like you going for a test, getting the result and going to work telling people about your test. Not a good idea.

What you need to know is that, if you have any symptoms, phone an assessment center and ask for a test.
What you need to know is that you have done a daily assessment to see if you should be going in to work.
What you need to know is how to clean your workspace, wearing your mask at work, social distancing at work and hand washing at work.

What you don't need to know, is your coworker's medical records.
[OP]
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Feb 19, 2010
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kimmelite wrote: An employer can't reveal health records of an employee to another employee.
Your coworker told you, but did not have to do it. It's their health record. It's like you going for a test, getting the result and going to work telling people about your test. Not a good idea.

What you need to know is that, if you have any symptoms, phone an assessment center and ask for a test.
What you need to know is that you have done a daily assessment to see if you should be going in to work.
What you need to know is how to clean your workspace, wearing your mask at work, social distancing at work and hand washing at work.

What you don't need to know, is your coworker's medical records.
They are suppose to let us know that we came in contact with the person. My work team is only 6 people and we are all close together everyday.
Sr. Member
Jul 24, 2019
733 posts
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Canada
BensonNV wrote: They are suppose to let us know that we came in contact with the person. My work team is only 6 people and we are all close together everyday.
No. Not the employer.
The public health unit or the contact tracers are the ones who should let you know. And, when they let you know, they don't tell you who the original person was.
Deal Fanatic
May 14, 2009
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kimmelite wrote: No. Not the employer.
The public health unit or the contact tracers are the ones who should let you know. And, when they let you know, they don't tell you who the original person was.
Employers do have some obligations under Occ Health requirements. They don’t have have to disclose personal health info, if they can avoid it. But an employer who knows/suspects that their employees were exposed to a COVID case, does have some responsibilities.
Deal Addict
Nov 10, 2018
3957 posts
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If I had COVID-19 and my manager (if I was still working) told someone else on the team I contracted the virus I would sue him/her and the company to reap a nice financial benefit.

Don't mistake the role and responsibility of public health and a person's right to privacy, please.
For legal topics and discussions, the opinion, guidance, and thoughts provided are my own and are not considered to be legal advice, in any manner.
Member
Nov 10, 2019
247 posts
174 upvotes
Know that this is very very common. At least almost all the people I know are in this scenario where they don't know who has the virus in their company. In fact, I know some employers force the infected to come back to work after their 2 weeks short term sick time off! Ridiculous.
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Apr 5, 2013
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keenland
angryaudifanatic wrote: If I had COVID-19 and my manager (if I was still working) told someone else on the team I contracted the virus I would sue him/her and the company to reap a nice financial benefit.

Don't mistake the role and responsibility of public health and a person's right to privacy, please.
..I am interested...how much would you be able to sue for?, on what grounds?..and what kind of damages would be appropriate..just wondering as this has happened in my circle

..also are there any precedents set in law about this
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Nov 10, 2018
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cardguy wrote: ..I am interested...how much would you be able to sue for?, on what grounds?..and what kind of damages would be appropriate..just wondering as this has happened in my circle

..also are there any precedents set in law about this
Contact an employment lawyer. This is highly on a case by case basis.
For legal topics and discussions, the opinion, guidance, and thoughts provided are my own and are not considered to be legal advice, in any manner.
Deal Fanatic
May 14, 2009
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angryaudifanatic wrote: If I had COVID-19 and my manager (if I was still working) told someone else on the team I contracted the virus I would sue him/her and the company to reap a nice financial benefit.

Don't mistake the role and responsibility of public health and a person's right to privacy, please.
Your manager wouldn’t need to disclose your name. They could just tell your coworkers that they’ve been exposed to a case. Public health (ON) can disclose your name during an investigation, if needed.
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Nov 10, 2018
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amz155 wrote: Your manager wouldn’t need to disclose your name. They could just tell your coworkers that they’ve been exposed to a case. Public health (ON) can disclose your name during an investigation, if needed.
Sure, but that wasn't the premise of the OP's case. The OP's premise was that his or her manager didn't disclose a positive COVID-19 worker in their immediate circle. That manager is not required by law to do just that. The OP's query was whether or not that was against the law, and it is not.
For legal topics and discussions, the opinion, guidance, and thoughts provided are my own and are not considered to be legal advice, in any manner.
Newbie
Sep 9, 2014
12 posts
36 upvotes
Montreal, QC
Public Health will be contacting the people who were in close contact to this coworker. That is, of course, if the person was truthful about being at work during the period they could have been contagious. They may have not told Public Health if you weren't aware. Contact tracing does really rely on people being truthful.

That being said if the employer knew they had it and were off because of it, they should have mentioned to employees that work closely with this person that someone tested positive. They do not have to disclose the name of course. Though it may be obvious if the person is "out sick for an indeterminate period", lol. So maybe that's why they didn't.

I had covid myself, but since I work from home I didn't really need to notify people other than my boss to say I was taking a few days off here and there (decided to mostly work through it half days). Most of the office eventually knew though, I wasn't shy about it.
Last edited by MontrealMelephant on Jan 23rd, 2021 2:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Jan 2, 2015
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BensonNV wrote: Hey guys, one of my co worker got covid (positive test) but our manager is not informing us or anything. We found out by our co worker telling us. Is this against the law by our work not telling us? Who should I contact? Thank you
It is NOT against the law for the employer to inform you. Manager or employer do NOT need to inform you. They MAY let you know if there is a case, but do not have to let you know. They CANNOT disclose anything that could identify the employee.
BensonNV wrote: They are suppose to let us know that we came in contact with the person. My work team is only 6 people and we are all close together everyday.
Alberta Health is supposed to let you know. The employer MAY let you know there is a case or a close case provided there is no way to for someone to identify who the employee who has it. If it's a small group, then it may be possible to identify who it is. Alberta Health calls, they let you know that you have been identified as someone in close contact with a known COVID case. They don't tell you if it's from work, social, or somewhere else. With a group of 6 people, they may choose not to disclose.
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it bothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.

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