An employer owes his employees a duty of care in common law. By common law we mean that the ‘duty’ is not written down in an act of Parliament but one that has come about due to custom i.e. a practice that has become law over a period of time.
The common law duty of care can be defined as ‘a duty to take care of you whilst you are at work’. He must take reasonable care of your safety, avoid exposing you to unnecessary risks and ensure a safe system of working.
The common law also imposes a duty on your employer not to behave in a manner calculated or likely to destroy, or seriously damage the relationship of trust and confidence between you.Governments around the world call for physical or social distancing. Unfortunately most places of work were designed with overhead, not pandemics, in mind.
In Ontario and Quebec, lawyers are applying for permission to bring class action lawsuits against two companies that own and operate chains of nursing homes.
The revised claim is against Revera Retirement Living and Sienna Senior Living, which both own and manage long-term care facilities across the country. Combined, the two companies own more than 130 nursing homes in Ontario alone.
An earlier statement of claim named Revera only, but now there are six plaintiffs including two whose father lived at Madonna, where 30 residents and one staff member have now died of COVID-19.
This class action, which must be examined and certified by a judge in order to move forward, alleges negligence and breach of contract.We had all better hope our provincial governments are ready to step in if/when the private sector operators fail.