Being laid off or fired is never any fun, but when you believe you have been wrongfully dismissed, it’s even worse because you know you should still have a job and shouldn’t be searching for new employment. However, proving wrongful dismissal is complicated, especially on your own. So, if you notice any of the following signs of a wrongful dismissal, contact an employment lawyer such as those at Walter Law Group for help.
In Canada, employers cannot dismiss you without legal grounds. They must show that your dismissal was based on performance and not on your sex, religion, or disability. Your employer will have to show that your performance was substandard and that your failure to meet standards was the sole reason for your dismissal. If you believe you were the victim of discrimination, a lawyer can help you know for sure.
Threat of Reprisal
Canadian employers cannot fire or lay off employees who have alerted them of employment law violations such as those that apply to suitable working hours, unsafe environments, or adequate breaks. If employers were allowed to retaliate against whistleblowers, it would discourage people from alerting authorities to these types of violations.
An employee contract must comply with all Employment Standard Act provisions. Even if something is written in your employee contract, it doesn’t mean it is legal. As such, if you were terminated based on a clause in your contract, have an employment lawyer review the contract. Occasionally, employers will attempt to insert contractual language that goes against the Employment Standard Act because they believe employees will accept the contract as the law.
For example, Canada does not recognize at-will employment and all contractual language that refers to at-will employment is illegal. Most employment terms in Canada are indefinite terms, which means if the employer ends the contract without cause, they must provide reasonable notice or termination pay. If you were let go without reasonable notice and weren’t given adequate termination pay, you may be entitled to compensation.
As previously mentioned, employees are entitled to reasonable notice before they are terminated without cause. “Reasonable notice” is based on several factors, including length of service, your age, availability of similar employment, and character of employment. Some of these factors are subjective, so what your employer believes to be reasonable may differ from your belief.
An employment lawyer can assist you with determining how much notice you should have received before being let go without cause. If it’s determined that you did not receive adequate notice, you may be able to sue your employer for termination pay in lieu of that notice.
If you had a fixed contract with an employer and your employment was terminated before the end of the contract, you may also have a case against your employer. They are required to pay you the remaining value of the fixed-term contract if you were let go without cause.
As you can see, Canadian employment law has many nuances that make it complicated, especially if you don’t have direct experience with the law. This is why it’s always recommended that you contact an employment lawyer to review your termination to assess its lawfulness.
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