In most cases, an employer can terminate someone’s employment at any time, without cause. If they choose to do so, they must provide a notice of termination of employment. They can require you to work through the notice period, or the employer can end the employment immediately and pay out the notice period instead.
Unfortunately, not every termination of employment follows legal guidelines. If you believe you have been wrongfully dismissed, contact our wrongful dismissal lawyers for a free consultation. Located in Toronto, our wrongful dismissal lawyers can assist clients throughout Ontario.
What Constitutes Wrongful Dismissal In Ontario?
Wrongful dismissal occurs when an employer terminates an employee without providing notice of termination, or without providing sufficient severance pay in lieu of notice. Some employers, for example, often provide no severance, or only comply with the Employment Standards Act (ESA), which covers the minimum amounts.
What Are The Types Of Wrongful Dismissal?
Some examples include when an employee has been constructively dismissed, where an employee was inappropriately terminated for just cause, and where an employer terminates an employee without cause, but doesn’t provide appropriate compensation and reasonable notice.
How Do I Know If I've Been Wrongfully Terminated Or Dismissed?
If you lose your job and you are not provided any severance, then that is a wrongful dismissal. Another example is if you are provided severance but not provided reasonable notice, severance, or termination pay.
How Can A Wrongful Dismissal Lawyer Help Me If I've Been Terminated?
A wrongful dismissal lawyer can help by advocating for you, protecting your rights and making sure you get paid appropriately.
How Long Do I Have To File A Wrongful Dismissal Claim In Ontario?
When your employment is terminated, you have two years from that date to start a lawsuit. If you do not do that within two years, you are statute barred and will not be able to sue your employer for wrongful dismissal damages.
How Do Wrongful Dismissal Lawyers Charge For Their Fees?
At Howie, Sacks & Henry LLP, we charge under what is called the contingency fee agreement. That means we do not charge anything until we successfully recover any damages, any severance or any termination pay that you are due. Once we recover that, or win at trial and obtain a judgment, this is when the contingency fee agreement is triggered. The contingency fee agreement that we use is a Law Society of Ontario approved agreement.
How Does A Wrongful Dismissal Lawyer Prove That I've Been Wrongfully Dismissed Or Terminated?
If the employer is not offering sufficient severance pay or termination pay under the circumstances, then a wrongful dismissal lawyer may be able to help ensure that your employer pays what you are entitled to receive.
Can An Employer Dismiss An Employee Without Warning?
Yes, an employer can terminate or fire someone without warning, and for any reason. However, the employer has to pay or provide a full severance package as part of that termination. If they do not do so, that may constitute wrongful dismissal. When looking into how to prove wrongful dismissal, we look at many factors, such as how long the person was employed at the company, their age, their level of seniority, future employability and more. These are some examples of factors that go into assessing the appropriate severance amount.
What Are Some Examples Of A Wrongful Termination?
Examples of a wrongful termination may include being fired without any severance or appropriate severance pay, or being fired after talking with your employer about any of the following:
- Wage or hour violations;
- An employment environment that is hostile, where you might be facing harassment in various forms;
- Violations of the Human Rights Act or the Employment Standards Act;
- And possibly more.
What Are Some Common Misconceptions About Severance Pay?
Common misconceptions include believing that an employer is required to give reasons for firing an employee, where in reality they do not. Another is that the employer must pay a month or a week for every year of employment. There are certain minimums that an employer has to pay during a termination, based on the ESA. There is a formula for calculating minimums, and it factors in things like how long the person has worked there and how many weeks of severance they are entitled. However, depending on circumstances, there may be other considerations. For example, Common Law - this can come into effect depending on the facts of the case, and may entitle a person to more compensation.
How Long Do Wrongful Dismissal Claims Take To Settle?
Usually, six to twelve months is an average range for a wrongful dismissal settlement agreement.
How Do Legal Proceedings Work For Wrongful Dismissal Or Termination Claims?
If an employer is not appropriately providing compensation for termination, and after some initial discussions, continues to maintain their position, a lawsuit is often started against that employer, for wrongful termination. Following that lawsuit, the employer will typically hire an employment lawyer to defend their case. Unlike the potentially years-long protracted litigation that may happen in other types of cases, the next stage in employment law is often mediation. This is a fancy word for a settlement meeting. Many cases are resolved at this stage.
Contact Our Toronto Wrongful Dismissal Lawyers For A Free Consultation Today
There is an abundance of information online as to rights and entitlements regarding wrongful dismissal claims. While these resources can be useful, the possibilities of each individual case can range widely depending on many factors. An employment lawyer who is familiar with the nuances of your case may be able to provide you with up-to-date information and guidance regarding a wrongful dismissal.
If you have questions or would like to discuss the specifics of your wrongful dismissal, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our employment lawyers.
*Please be advised that the content of this article is intended as a general overview on the subject of employment law in Ontario, and should not be construed as legal advice. For legal advice, please consult with an employment lawyer.