Disciplined for not staying in daily contact with employer during quarantine?

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  • Jul 16th, 2020 7:24 pm
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
May 11, 2009
7297 posts

Disciplined for not staying in daily contact with employer during quarantine?

A fellow employee was ordered to self-isolate without pay for 14 days because of covid sypmtoms, he got tested and it came back negative. When he came back, he was suspended for 1 day because he didn't stay in touch - he was instructed to contact HR daily at a set time to report how he was feeling. He's and older man who hates technology, has a phone but it must have lost charge or broke because he says he could not call out. He also lives in a rural area and claims reception is spotty.

Anyway, I instructed him to fight this with the union. I'm left wondering if there is any legal requirement for the company to demand you keep them updated on your health status and test results, that strikes me as a privacy violation - health unit should be in touch with the company about test results if they come back positive. Also, he would not be compensated for his time in calling back, so I can see an ESA issue popping up here too.
"I possess a device, in my pocket, capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers"
3 replies
Deal Expert
Jan 27, 2006
20233 posts
Vancouver, BC
I believe the employer's case rest on the initial instructions of contacting HR daily and how the employee didn't object to the request. After all, if he has lived in that rural area for a while, then he should have known that the reception was spotty there and informed HR about the possibility of not making a check-in now and then or doing it late.

I can understand how the phone or charger may have broke and since he was self-isolating, he couldn't go out and get the problem rectified. But that all went out the window when he included the additional excuse of spotty reception in the area! After all, if he had a broken phone, why would it matter that the reception was spotty?
Deal Addict
Jun 11, 2016
4631 posts
5810 upvotes no family or kids checked up on him during 2 weeks?
Unless your colleague is Grizzly Adams then its going to be hard to find someone in Canada who does not have either 1- land line 2- internet 3- neighbours 4- family/friends

IMO, the employer's case is airtight. The employee was ordered to isolate and report to HR on a daily basis which he failed to do.
It's his responsibility to make sure his equipement is functional. The only "loop hole" the Union could use if he wasnt told of the consequences of not reporting in (but am sure any competent HR would have covered it w/ him)

Seems like a heck of a battle to wage over 1 day.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 13, 2009
5037 posts
Yikes. Seriously there's some interesting pieces of employers out there.

14 day self isolation order was given by the employer or medical doctor?

With the daily check-ins, was this person still being paid? If they are still being paid....and the obligation was just a simple daily phone call check in....he should have called to check in daily. Should he be penalized? Legally he could but morally the company shouldn't have. No one should bear any consequences of a pandemic if it can be avoided. He was treated unfairly although employer within their rights to...but just not nice.

I've heard stories where employers promised no layoffs or contractors cut during the pandemic and then poof, cut cut cut.


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