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Participation Agreements and Ontario Works

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What if I want to quit a job or refuse a job offer?

OW expects you to take steps to get a job and keep any job that you have.

And if you work part time or have casual work, OW expects you to look for more work. OW can reduce or cut off your assistance if you are not trying to find and keep work.

But they may not do this if they think you have a good reason. This is known as having "reasonable cause".

Reasons for quitting or not taking a job

Examples of "reasonable cause" to quit or refuse to do a job might include:

  • a workplace that is not safe or is dangerous to your health
  • having a health problem that stops you from doing your job
  • sexual harassment at work, or harassment for other reasons like race, religion, or sexual orientation, or because you have a disability
  • needing to be at home on a regular basis to care for a child
  • having no way to get to a job because public transit does not go there

When your OW worker is deciding if you have "reasonable cause", they should meet with you and listen to what you have to say.

Giving proof to OW

If you quit or refuse to take a job for health reasons, you need to give your OW worker a letter from your doctor.

You will also have to show your OW worker your Record of Employment (ROE) and any written notice that you get from an employer.

Make sure you tell your OW worker if you have taken any steps against your employer, such as:

  • making an Employment Standards claim with the Ministry of Labour
  • making a union grievance
  • making a human rights application
  • suing your employer in court