Employer did everything it could to accommodate freezing workers

There is no duty for workers to continue to work when it’s too cold. But nor is there a duty for an employer to pay those who choose to leave, according to the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
|Canadian Employment Law Today

There is no duty for workers to continue to work when it’s too cold. But nor is there a duty for an employer to pay those who choose to leave, according to the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

Jan. 9, 2004, was a very cold day. Less than two hours into their shift, a number of workers at Canac Kitchens expressed concern the –12C temperature in the shipping area was a health and safety issue. About 35 employees met with their manager, the plant manager and the union’s occupational health and safety representative.

There had been complaints about the cold in the past. On this occasion the workers were told steps were being taken. Other than allowing more frequent breaks to warm up, and providing hot drinks, there was nothing the company could do that day.