The Workers’ Health and Safety Legal Clinic (“the Clinic”) is a community legal aid clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario. Our mandate is to provide legal advice and representation to non-unionized low wage workers in Ontario who face health and safety problems at work. In response to the proposed Bill 27 - Working for Workers Act, 2021, the aim of our Clinic’s submissions is to speak to those specific parts of Bill 27 that we have expertise on, and, to wherever possible, not duplicate the helpful submissions of our colleagues in other legal clinics and in the injured workers community.
In a win for “gig” economy workers, the Supreme Court of Canada found in Uber Technologies Inc. v. Heller that the onerous mandatory arbitration clause in Uber’s service agreements is unconscionable. The Supreme Court of Canada released the decision Uber Technologies Inc. v. Heller. This decision was an appeal from the Ontario Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal found that Uber’s mandatory arbitration clause was “unconscionable”. The Clinic intervened to argue that mandatory arbitration clauses, like Uber’s, undermine the minimum protections for workers in Ontario.
On June 15th, the Workers’ Health and Safety Legal Clinic wrote a letter to Premier Ford and Minister McNaughton to urge the Ontario government to work with the federal government to require employers institute paid sick days for provincially regulated workers in Ontario. Whether it is the common cold or COVID-19, infectious diseases that impact workers will remain a constant. In Ontario, workers who are required to obtain medical notes and do not have access to paid sick leave are disproportionately racialized women, migrants and young workers, working lower income, non-unionized positions which cannot be performed remotely.