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WWYD...being forced back to work - non essential service

[OP]
Sr. Member
Feb 10, 2008
628 posts
275 upvotes
Toronto

WWYD...being forced back to work - non essential service

In an awkward situation and looking for some input. My company is in Ontario, a Small business - engineering consulting. We do some work for contractors and some essential construction such as wastewater treatment and municipal projects. Our biggest job at the moment is out of the country.

The boss/President of the company sent out a letter saying everyone is to be back in the office on Tuesday. If we don't want to go in,he will consider us on sick leave and basically lay us off (company has no paid sick days)

I don't see our company on the list of eligible companies that can open on Tuesday,and a lot of the staff are concerned about coming in. We've basically been given the choice to come into work against the law or lose pay.

My thinking is to head to the office on Tuesday morning and call the YRP non emergency number to report the company on the way. Company is in Markham.

Any idea if this can be ananymous? Will they show up and shut things down relatively quickly? I may actually call this weekend to see what they recommend but wondering if anyone has any other ideas.

Oh, and I certainly won't forget what this employer is doing and what he thinks of his employees.
30 replies
Jr. Member
User avatar
Dec 17, 2019
162 posts
96 upvotes
Montreal
I’d do exactly the same
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Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 16, 2009
1472 posts
342 upvotes
Is there a manager or director that can advocate on the worker's behalf to the president? I'm on board with your plan, and as you said, now you know what they think of you. Use this long weekend to sharpen your resume, because regardless of the outcome this probably isn't a place to be long term.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 23, 2009
4902 posts
2017 upvotes
Ford says that construction industry will be fully reopen on Tuesday ....

That's likely where your company lies whether it is in actual construction or building maintenance.
Deal Fanatic
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Jan 31, 2006
6097 posts
1237 upvotes
Toronto
mrwally wrote: In an awkward situation and looking for some input. My company is in Ontario, a Small business - engineering consulting. We do some work for contractors and some essential construction such as wastewater treatment and municipal projects. Our biggest job at the moment is out of the country.

The boss/President of the company sent out a letter saying everyone is to be back in the office on Tuesday. If we don't want to go in,he will consider us on sick leave and basically lay us off (company has no paid sick days)

I don't see our company on the list of eligible companies that can open on Tuesday,and a lot of the staff are concerned about coming in. We've basically been given the choice to come into work against the law or lose pay.

My thinking is to head to the office on Tuesday morning and call the YRP non emergency number to report the company on the way. Company is in Markham.

Any idea if this can be ananymous? Will they show up and shut things down relatively quickly? I may actually call this weekend to see what they recommend but wondering if anyone has any other ideas.

Oh, and I certainly won't forget what this employer is doing and what he thinks of his employees.
Being a subcontractor of a construction company, all its workers are now considered a part of an essential business.

Just like my company, we do insurance for car leasing company, since insurance is classify as an essential business, I have no choice but to go to work (2 days at the office and 3 days WFH).
Sr. Member
Jul 15, 2003
640 posts
168 upvotes
GTA, Ontario
cgtlky wrote: Being a subcontractor of a construction company, all its workers are now considered a part of an essential business.

Just like my company, we do insurance for car leasing company, since insurance is classify as an essential business, I have no choice but to go to work (2 days at the office and 3 days WFH).
Has your company done anything to help with the return to office (what rules are in place)? I'm curious how this will work when I eventually get called back in.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 31, 2006
6097 posts
1237 upvotes
Toronto
Dymis wrote: Has your company done anything to help with the return to office (what rules are in place)? I'm curious how this will work when I eventually get called back in.
Not everyone is required to go to the office. They have hand sanitizer, gloves, mask, disinfect wipes. Cleaner, come and clean/wipes every desk, doors, kitchen counters every day. Even though less than 5 people are require to come to the office.

If you does not feel well (I mean you might have symptoms of the virus do not come it), which is different from “I do not feel safe going to the office”. The second reason will end up being terminated since the business is an essential one.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 20, 2004
5108 posts
977 upvotes
Toronto
Are you sure your company is not allowed to open? Many non-essential businesses are opening Tuesday.

Even if not, most businesses will be open in the following week or two - you can't hide at home forever.

Are you in a high risk group (ie elderly or existing health condition), or do you live with someone who is? If so then you may just have to bite the bullet and start looking for a new job. If not, then just go back to work.
Jr. Member
Dec 20, 2015
127 posts
33 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
Many of my friends have received emails from their HR departments requesting them to go back to their offices on Tuesday (all non-essential). I guess it really depends on the company and the role because some of them are only going back once or twice a week while only a couple are going back full-time. Most people I know are still waiting for their firms to decide though.
Newbie
Dec 18, 2016
33 posts
13 upvotes
why would they shut things down, non-essential businesses are opening up. Maybe use your vacation days until things get a bit more sorted out?
Deal Addict
Nov 13, 2013
2082 posts
952 upvotes
Ottawa
I don't know if people are right that you are part of construction industry so back to work. I'm shocked at the entitlement that you think you shouldn't have to to work. It's part of the problem with all these programs. It seems many prefer the free cash to working. I mean even if your employer was wrong and shouldn't be open having them get shutdown can easily lead to bankruptcy or plain giving up for a small business. I certainly wouldn't want to be unemployed in this environment. This is not Ebola. We expect many will get the virus. Shutting things down is to slow the spread and not overwhelm the system. It's a society wide solution. Each individual needs to do their part but we also need to be calm and listen to the experts on the other side. We can't live in fear for up to two years waiting for a vaccine.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Feb 10, 2008
628 posts
275 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks for everyone's thoughts. I am also wondering if we'd be considered part of the construction industry but the Ontario list is pretty vague about what that includes.

I should have mentioned that the entire office has been working remotely for the last 6 weeks or so. And we are busier than ever so there is no concern about bankruptcy or anything. I think the only reason the president wants everyone back in the office is because he's a micro manager who can't function without looking over everyone's shoulder.

I agree that we need to get back to work soon, but short of putting up a couple of plexiglass screens between rows of desks, nothing has been done. I have a toddler at home, and while not in a high risk group I suppose, that's my main concern as I'll be in a small office full of people as well as a shared washroom with another office on the floor of the building.

Guess I'll see how things go on Tuesday.
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 16, 2008
7318 posts
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Maple
OP
Before proceeding your plan, be sure your employer is essential now. It’s confusing with so many changes.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Feb 10, 2008
628 posts
275 upvotes
Toronto
teoconca wrote: OP
Before proceeding your plan, be sure your employer is essential now. It’s confusing with so many changes.
That's the thing...how would I find that out?

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