Colleagues coming to work sick? Know your rights as cold and flu season looms

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2023-09-05 17:04:53  • 5 mins

With doctors bracing for a potential “tripledemic” as summer comes to an end, people working in an office may be questioning what they can do if they are working alongside someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or may be sick with another illness like the flu.

Earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic, various policies were in place in an effort to limit people from getting sick, including quarantine requirements, sick leave legislation and working from home.

Last year, the federal government legislated 10 paid sick days for federally regulated employees, which took effect in December 2022. That same year, British Columbia put in place five permanent paid days.

But other provinces have a mixture of rules.

For example, Quebec workers are entitled to two days though that was also the case in that province before the pandemic. Ontario, meanwhile, ended its sick leave program this past March, ending workers’ ability to access three paid days under the province’s temporary program.

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But as some companies have moved away from working from home, and provinces have dropped quarantine requirements, it could mean you may be working next to someone who is ill.

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