VRA Ontario Webinar - The Right to Refuse Work during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Date: Wednesday, July 29, 2020 - 11:30 AM Eastern

Presenter: Ms. Viki Scott, RC (c); BSc; RRP; CHRM; MBA; ADR (c)

In Canada under the Federal Labour Code Part 2 and the various provincial jurisdictions Occupational Health and Safety legislation gives a worker the right to refuse work that he or she believes is unsafe to himself/ herself or another worker. A worker who believes that he or she is endangered by workplace violence may also refuse work.
These Acts set out a specific procedure that must be followed in any work refusal. It is important that workers, employers, supervisors, members of joint health and safety committees (JHSCs) and health and safety representatives understand the procedure for a lawful work refusal.

The Occupational Health and Safety legislation provides the workplace stakeholders with a framework for minimizing and manageing the risk of a COVID-19 infected workplace.
Learning Objectives:

1. The Participant will have a better understanding of the Occupational Health and Safety legislative framework that drives the “due diligence” obligations requiring organizations to have in place in support of Employees as we re-open our businesses including:
a. The right to refuse work;
b. Do all workers have the right to refuse unsafe work;
c. When can a worker refuse to work;
d. What happens when a worker refuses unsafe work;
e. If the worker paid while refusing to work;
f. Can a worker be disciplined for refusing to work;
g. Right to stop work;
h. Etc.

2. The Participant will be oriented to the procedure for managing and responding to “work refusals”.


Ms. Viki Scott, RC (c); BSc; RRP; CHRM; MBA; ADR (c)

Viki Scott is the President and Principal Consultant & Chief Lobbyist of Scott & Associates Inc.

Viki currently manages a very reputable Consulting Firm of which provides solutions to Canadian based companies with at concentration in Labour Management Relations, Conflict Risk Management, Occupational Health and Safety, Workplace Investigations, advisory services. Her firm also provides lobbying and advocacy services to their not for profit and broader public service clients.

Viki has an extensive history with both the public and private sectors, primarily in unionized environments. She has led significant change management initiatives for major public, non for profit and private sector organizations. Her leadership positions include the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Workplace Health and Safety Agency, OPSEU, Extendicare Canada, Watson Wyatt Worldwide and with KPMG LLP. She also, has had the privilege of being a Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor to an Ontario Premier and a number of Federal and Provincial Cabinet Ministers.

Viki has also worked with various employers in meeting Occupational Health and Safety due diligence compliance in Canadian (Provincial and Federal), U.S.A., and European jurisdictions. She has developed standardized assessment and diagnostic tools that are used for identifying and minimizing risks.  One of her many accomplishments is that in her capacity as the Senior Development Officer with the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Workplace Health and Safety Agency, she was responsible for the development and implementation of the Occupational Health and  Safety Certification Training Program. In addition, during her tenure with the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services she received a number of commendations for her leadership during a provincial strike, SARS Pandemic and the provincial “blackout”.

Viki has worked with a wide range of Bargaining Agents such as CAW, OPSEU, CUPE, AMAPCEO, CEP, USWA, OPSSU, ASU, UFCW, PSAC, LIUNA, PAO, AJC, ONA, OLBEU, SEIU, UNIFOR and the Teamsters Union in the capacity as a Chief Negotiator/Spokesperson, a Grievance Mediator and as a Training Facilitator. She also conducts workplace investigations in support of the workplace parties’ obligations under the various OH&SA and Human Rights Legislation.

Viki has an MBA with a concentration in Industrial Relations and a Bachelor of Science, in Occupational Health and Rehabilitation. Viki also holds post graduate degrees in Alternative Dispute Resolution from York University and in Human Resource Management. She is a Registered Rehabilitation Professional operating under license #SCOV0381-R. Viki currently holds Associate Professor positions with the Pacific Coast University, Workplace Health Sciences and with the School of Legal and Public Administration with Seneca College, York University Campus. She is also an Adjunct Professor with the Ryerson University Centre for Labour Management Relations.

Wednesday July 29, 2020