As the Canadian provinces are slowly trying to return to the normal situation and kick start the economy, the characters of the workplaces are likely to change forever. Along with making the masks and the social distancing mandatory, the companies are introducing different new screening measures to fight off the problems of COVID-19.
To make sure whether the steps that the employers are taking are legal or not, you should get in touch with an employment lawyer before returning to work. But before that, you should take a look at the following section of this article. Here, we have explained the steps that the companies are taking and tried to find out if there are any chances for the employers to overstep their boundaries. Let’s check it out.
The Extra measures The Employers are Taking
The employers are planning to ask the employees daily whether their conditions have changed recently. The companies will be using thermal imaging cameras to check the temperature of the employees. If any of the employees have a temperature above 37.2 C, they will be flagged and will be requested to return to their homes.
Some companies are considering installing plexiglass barriers to keep the employees safe from contamination. Some companies are even using the contact tracing smartphone applications to track the whereabouts of their employees to check if an employee has come in contact with anyone suffering from COVID.
This employee tracking has sparked a debate over the privacy of the employees. While contact tracing applications can trace the movement of the people suffering from COVID and alert the healthy persons, the risk of violating privacy is huge, and it is better to consult an employment lawyer to know your rights regarding privacy during this time.
How do The Applications work?
Most of the tracking applications use the GPS location of the smartphone of a person to track their movements. Some other applications, however, use Bluetooth technology instead of GPS. Such applications let the Bluetooth signal of a smartphone communicate with nearby smartphones. In this way, the personal data of every person would stay encrypted and would not leave the device of the person.
Can Your Employer Track You
While the government of Canada shows reluctance about using such tracking applications, the employers of Canada are not. That pops up the question of whether the employers can track the employees.
Addressing this issue, most employment lawyers said that your employer is paying you money for the time you devote to the company. That entitles them to track your whereabouts while you are on the job.
However, that should be the boundary of the tracking. The employer cannot track their employees beyond their working hours. So, even if the companies use such tracking applications for their employees during the office hours, these applications should be disabled or disconnected once that’s over.
The problem is, the employer could use the tracking system for COVID -19 for other purposes as well. For example, they can point out that during a certain period of a workday, you were talking to your colleague instead of doing any work. The employers then can use this information to discipline you.
With social distancing norms and the obligation of the employers to keep the employees safe, many of them would like to use the tracking technology. However, you have to make sure that they are not stepping out of their boundary. Talk to an employment lawyer to know about your rights before you start using such a tracking application.