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Employers warned over allowing employees with COVID-19 contacts to work 

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Posted: Tuesday, December 8, 2020. 11:47 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: It could soon be an offense for employers to knowingly force employees who have either tested positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting their results to come to work rather than stay isolated or in quarantine. 

Following his social media post alerting the public of this on Monday, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams reminded in a press briefing, “It is the law that once it is that you have tested positive for COVID-19, you need to isolate yourself from others.  It is also the law that once you have been swabbed and are awaiting results you are to be in quarantine pending your results. And we would anticipate that any responsible employer would want to ensure that an employee who is infected or who is potentially infected would not be at work to further infect further employees or to put other employees at risk.” 

The Police Department has been getting complaints in multiple instances, but presently the regulations do not take such situations into consideration, according to the Commissioner. He plans to speak to Minister of Health and Wellness, Michel Chebat, to write that into the next regulation. 

In the meantime, as the Commissioner acknowledged, employees who do go to work with a positive or uncertain diagnosis are in breach of the regulations and liable to arrest. 

But he added, “It would be cynical of us to prosecute that employee, because at the end of the day the employee is left between a rock and a hard place – either you quarantine and lose your job; or you come to work. So what do you expect the employee is going to do? And so, because of that, we have not made any arrests in terms of arresting an employee who is being forced by an employer to go to work despite the employee’s COVID-19 situation.” 

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