Collingwood lawyer John A. Tamming represents employees who are wrongfully terminated, helping fight for full compensation and ensuring the employee’s rights are protected.
When it comes to terminating employees, employers do not always do what is required by law.
There are many misconceptions about an employee’s rights on termination, and unfortunately, some employers try to use that to their advantage in firing employees. Because it is extremely important to understand your legal rights if you are facing termination, our experienced employment lawyer prepared this primer on legal rights relating to wrongful dismissal. Of course, the best way to ensure you are treated fairly and receive full compensation is to speak with a wrongful dismissal lawyer. Collingwood’s Tamming Law can answer your questions and provide you with a quick assessment of your situation – call us today toll-free at 1-888-945-5783.
What is wrongful dismissal? Collingwood lawyer explains
An Ontario employer is permitted by law to terminate an employee without cause from their job for various reasons if the employer provides advanced notice of termination or payment in lieu of notice. Wrongful dismissal occurs when an employer terminates an employee without cause and fails to provide the employee with either advanced notice of termination or appropriate payment in lieu of notice. Wrongful dismissal may also arise in other situations, for example, where an employer terminates an employee for cause when the employer did not actually have cause, or where an employer constructively dismisses an employee (more information here).
Collingwood lawyer: Wrongful dismissal and your legal rights
Here are some of the key legal rights you should be aware of when facing dismissal from employment:
You have the right to advanced notice of termination. Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 requires your employer to give you a certain amount of written notice prior to the date your employment will end (unless you have been employed for less than three months, or if immediate termination is warranted on the basis of “just cause”). The period of notice is calculated based on the length of service you have given to your employer.
If you are not given advanced notice, you have a right to payment in lieu. Termination pay is the amount you are owed under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 if your employer terminates your employment without giving the requisite advanced notice. Payment in lieu of notice is generally paid in a lump sum that is equal to your usual wages for the notice period. In addition to termination pay, you are also entitled to vacation pay for the notice period and the continuation of any benefits that you would have been entitled to. The minimum statutory termination pay must be paid to you within seven days of termination or by your next regular payday.
You may also have the right to additional compensation. An employer’s legal obligation to pay you termination pay under the Employments Standards Act, 2000 is the bare minimum. Unless your employment contract clearly limits your entitlement, you may also have the right to additional payment for reasonable notice under the common law. Factors such as the nature of your job, your age, and the length of time you spent with that employer can entitle you to a significantly increased period of reasonable notice or payment in lieu.
You have a right to consult with a lawyer before signing anything. You are not required to immediately sign any documents upon being dismissed from your job. Your employer may ask you to sign documents, calling it “exit paperwork,” or your employer may pressure you to sign a “Full and Final Release” and accept the severance package they offer to you. You have the right to get legal advice before signing or accepting anything and you need to be aware that if you do sign, you may be giving up your right to file a claim for wrongful dismissal. That means you may lose out on your full severance entitlements. Talk to a wrongful dismissal lawyer first – the lawyer can review the document or severance package and quickly assess your situation.
You have the right to claim for damages if you were wrongfully dismissed. An employer’s failure to provide payment (or failure to provide full payment) to an employee who also did not receive notice of termination may be grounds for a legal action. You may also be entitled to bring a legal action seeking additional monetary compensation because of the way that you were terminated (know as “bad faith” damages, for example, due to your employer’s harassing or humiliating treatment in firing you).
You have the right to fight back if your employer improperly alleges that you were fired for cause. An employer may claim that an employee committed misconduct (for example, disobedience or willful neglect of duties) which amounted to just cause for immediate dismissal. As noted above, an employee who is dismissed for just cause is not entitled to notice of termination or payment in lieu of notice. The burden is on the employer to prove cause for the dismissal and, in most cases, that the employee was given the opportunity to avoid termination. It is often the case that an employer is not justified in dismissal for cause, and where that is the case, the employee has the right to bring a wrongful dismissal lawsuit seeking monetary compensation.
Get legal advice from a Collingwood wrongful dismissal lawyer
If you have faced a wrongful dismissal, Collingwood lawyer John A. Tamming is here to provide you with reliable legal advice, clear strategies, and strong advocacy. Our employment lawyer is highly dedicated, and our team will fight to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. If you have an employment law question or have faced a wrongful dismissal, make an appointment to speak with an experienced wrongful dismissal lawyer by calling us today toll-free at 1-888-945-5783.