Updated: Nov 24, 2020
An employer in Ontario is permitted by law to terminate an employee without cause from their job for various reasons, but only if they provide notice of termination ahead of time or payment in lieu of notice often referred to as severance pay or termination pay.
A wrongful dismissal in Ontario occurs when an employer terminates an employee without providing them advanced notice of termination or appropriate severance pay in lieu of notice. Employers often provide a terminated employee with minimum severance pay as required by the Employment Standards Act, 2000, but ignore the fact that common law severance pay must also be provided.
A wrongful dismissal action commences when an employee files a claim against their former employer, seeking monetary damages because not enough notice or severance pay was provided. Constructive dismissal can trigger a wrongful dismissal action.
Wrongful Dismissal in Ontario: A Misunderstood Term
To be clear, the term “wrongful dismissal” does not mean that the employer’s reason for firing an employee broke any employment laws, was wrong or untruthful. An employer has the right to terminate your employment for any lawful reasons, including the fact that they simply do not like you. As long as the employer provides the employee with appropriate notice or severance in lieu of notice, the termination is not considered a wrongful dismissal.
A variety of factors must be considered when calculating the proper notice or pay that the employee should receive. Factors include an employee’s salary, age, length of service, benefits, bonus, and other payments earned while employed. At SAV Paralegal Services, we can examine the various factors involved in your situation to determine what your full severance entitlements are. More details available here.
Discover Your Rights – And Let Us Fight For Them
At SAV Paralegal Services, we are uniquely skilled in handling wrongful dismissal matters. When your employment is terminated, or you are dismissed from your job, do not sign any documents or exit papers. By doing so you give up your rights to file a claim for wrongful dismissal, which allows you to seek your full severance entitlements.
For example only, here is a brief calculation. If you have been working for 2 years as a driver and all that time was paid about $600 per week. You do not have any written contract, and for some reasons your employment was terminated. Under the Employment Standards Act, you are entitled to 2 weeks of payment in lieu of notice, which is about $1200. But under the common law, you might be eligible for at least 2 months of payment. Due to the workplace shortage caused by COVID-19 you may ask for an additional 1-3 months. So, we are talking of about 22 weeks of payment which is $13,200. Compare that with what you got and see the difference.