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GENERAL INFO

We all agree that life can be tough and it could very much happen to anyone, when one morning you walk into your place of work and the next thing you know is that you have been dismissed by your employer. Every year, thousands of employees are dismissed in Ontario and many of these claims go unchallenged as many people do not know their rights. At times, employers dismiss their employees and give unreasonable and stringent timelines for executing full and final release documents and accepting a severance package, without even giving them the opportunity to seek independent legal advice. It is imperative that you speak to a lawyer prior to signing any kind of documentation.

There are different ways in which one can be dismissed or fired by his or her employer, for example, an employer may simply dismiss you without cause and not provide a reason. Another example is, where you may be dismissed with cause for misconduct, incompetence or neglect of duty. A third way you can be dismissed is called a constructive dismissal where the employer does not fire you, however creates a situation where you are left with no other option but to resign and walk out, this could be a demotion or a material change in your contract.

There are numerous situations that can arise and each situation is unique and has its own merits. For example, you may have been working as an Executive for an International Corporation for many years and a competitor may approach you and solicit you, offer you a higher and better position and then the next thing you know is that you have been fired and you no longer have a job. In such situations, you can make a claim for notice period from the day you started your previous job, the one you were solicited from.

Another example of being wrongfully terminated is where your employer is aware of you suffering from a disability and despite having reviewed the medical opinion of your treating physician, your supervisor or boss still forces you to return to work and if you are unable to do so, they fire you. At the same time, not only do they dismiss you but they also terminate your extended health care benefits. There are situations at UL Lawyers that we have come across where after being terminated, the dismissed employee became completely disabled and was required to apply for Long-Term Disability benefits and the employer refused to provide the application for short-term or long-term disability. In such situations, if your employer fails to keep your extended health care benefits open and subsequently you become disabled, then it is likely that the court may hold the employer responsible for your long-term disability payments.

At UL Lawyers Professional Corporation, if you have been dismissed by your employer, we will work for you on a contingency fees basis, which means there are no upfront retainer fees that have to be deposited with us. We will initially pay for all your disbursements and any court costs. 15. Upon settlement or judgment, fees will be calculated on the amount of recovery and not on disbursements or costs recovered in accordance with the Solicitors Act R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER S.15.

If you have are going through a situation described above, then call UL Lawyers now. We have the aggressive team of lawyers that can passionately advocate for you. Call 905 744 8888 or 519 891 8888 (46-7246) now email us at info@ullaw.ca for more information.


DISMISSAL WITHOUT CAUSE

In Ontario, speaking on general basis, employers have the right to terminate non-unionized employees on a without cause basis where they are not required to provide extensive reasons in writing for dismissing the employee. If a business is going downhill and the business cannot continue to afford paying their employees, the business has the right to terminate employees without justifying the reasons, provided a proper working notice or notice in the form of compensation is given to employees in accordance with the Employment Standards Act.

In accordance with the Employment Standards Act, the statute requires that employees be given compensation or advance notice of the dismissal. The minimum length of notice payable for individual dismissals is contingent upon an employee’s length of service:


TIME OF SERVICE

3 Months but less than 1 year

1 year but less than 3 years

3 years but less than 4 years

4 years but less than 5 years

5 years but less than 6 years

6 years but less than 7 years

7 years but less than 8 years

8 years or more

NOTICE PERIOD REQUIREMENT

1 week pay

2 weeks’ pay

3 weeks’ pay

4 weeks’ pay

5 weeks’ pay

6 weeks’ pay

7 weeks’ pay

8 weeks’ pay


It must be noted that there are certain exceptions under the Employment Standards Act, where notice is not required to be paid to a terminated employee:

  • An employee who is temporarily laid-off, as defined in the Employment Standards Act;
  • An employee who has been guilty of wilful misconduct or disobedience or wilful neglect of duty that has not been acceptable by the employer; or
  • A contract of employment that is or has become impossible of performance or is frustrated by a fortuitous or unforeseeable event or circumstance.

Along with a working notice or compensation for notice period, pursuant to the Employment Standards Act, you may be entitled to ‘severance pay’. In accordance with section 64(1) of the Employment Standards Act:

64 (1) An employer who severs an employment relationship with an employee shall pay severance pay to the employee if the employee was employed by the employer for five years or more and,

(a) the severance occurred because of a permanent discontinuance of all or part of the employer’s business at an establishment and the employee is one of 50 or more employees who have their employment relationship severed within a six-month period as a result; or

(b) the employer has a payroll of $2.5 million or more. 2000, c. 41, s. 64 (1).

Severance pay in Ontario is calculated as followed in accordance with section 65(1) of the Employment Standards Act:

65 (1) Severance pay under this section shall be calculated by multiplying the employee’s regular wages for a regular work week by the sum of,

(a) the number of years of employment the employee has completed; and

(b) the number of months of employment not included in clause (a) that the employee has completed, divided by 12. 2000, c. 41, s. 65 (1).

The above-noted entitlements are with respect to the Employment Standards Ac (ESA). Under common law entitlement, the general rule of thumb is 1 month per year of service. Common Law means law made by judges in past cases. Please note that this is NOT in addition to your ESA entitlements. The 1 month notice per year includes your notice and severance pay. Although, you need to review your employment contract that you may have executed prior to starting out your employment to ensure that you did not opt of your common law entitlements. Employers generally have employees opting out of common law entitlement at the time of signing an employment contract but at no time can an employer force you to sign away your minimum ESA entitlements. If an employer has forced you to opt of your ESA entitlements, it is very much likely that a Judge will set aside that specific clause of your employment contract.

It should be noted that just because you have been dismissed by your employer, it does not mean that you will automatically be paid or you are entitled to the full sum of 1 month per year. It is imperative that you understand that obligation of mitigating your damages. In simple terms, this means that it is incumbent upon you to find a new job. You cannot just sit at home and expect to be paid. You must constantly apply for new jobs with similar pay and similar type of work and similar distance from your home. You must further keep track and save all the emails and jobs you have applied for as the lawyers for your former employer will want to see the evidence that you actually made a genuine effort to find new work. For example, if you worked for your former employer for 4 years and were dismissed without just cause, yes on a common law basis, contingent upon your position you may be entitled to 4 month’s pay, however, if you find a new job in 1 month of being dismissed, your notice pay will be limited to that one month you were without work.

At UL Lawyers Professional Corporation, if you have been dismissed by your employer, we will work for you on a contingency fees basis, which means there are no upfront retainer fees that have to be deposited with us. We will initially pay for all your disbursements and any court costs. 15. Upon settlement or judgment, fees will be calculated on the amount of recovery and not on disbursements or costs recovered in accordance with the Solicitors Act R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER S.15.

If you have are going through a situation described above, then call UL Lawyers now. We have the aggressive team of lawyers that can passionately advocate for you. Call 905 744 8888 or 519 891 8888 (46-7246) now email us at info@ullaw.ca for more information.


DISMISSAL WITH CAUSE OR TERMINATION FOR JUST CAUSE

Employers at times take the position that an employee who has been dismissed for just cause is not entitled to any working notice or notice of dismissal or any kind of severance. In the case of R. v. Arthurs, Ex p. Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co., 1967 CanLII 30 (ONCA), the Court of Appeal held that an employer may terminate employment for cause if the employee is “guilty of serious misconduct, habitual neglect of duty, incompetence or conduct incompatible with his duties, or prejudicial to the employer’s business, or if he has been guilty of wilful disobedience to the employer’s orders in the matter of substance.”

Since the employer is taking the position that an employee was dismissed for just cause, the evidentiary burden of proving that the employee was guilty of some sort of serious misconduct or incompetence is upon the employer as well. The employer has to show that warnings were given prior to the dismissal and that the employer made a genuine effort to give the employee a chance to improve or rectify his or her mistakes. The employer must further corroborate that the employee’s work ethic is incompatible with the responsibilities assigned to him and her or the employee is incompetent despite being given the opportunity to retrain and further that the conduct of the employee is prejudicial to the employer’s business. The employer must further substantiate that not only did the misconduct actually happen but the misconduct caused a significant loss or harm to the business. Therefore, on a balance of probabilities, the employer has to show the above.

If you have been a victim of just cause where you are of the opinion that you have been prejudiced by your employer’s conduct and feel humiliated, then you can rely on the lawyers at our firm to assist you and advocate passionately for your rights. We can guide you right and lay out your proper options for you.

At UL Lawyers Professional Corporation, if you have been dismissed by your employer, we will work for you on a contingency fees basis, which means there are no upfront retainer fees that have to be deposited with us. We will initially pay for all your disbursements and any court costs. 15. Upon settlement or judgment, fees will be calculated on the amount of recovery and not on disbursements or costs recovered in accordance with the Solicitors Act R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER S.15.

If you have are going through a situation described above, then call UL Lawyers now. We have the aggressive team of lawyers that can passionately advocate for you. Call 905 744 8888 or 519 891 8888 (46-7246) now email us at info@ullaw.ca for more information.


CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISSAL

Are you in a situation where your employer is attempting to get rid of you but is hesitating from being straightforward and advising you that he or she wants to you leave and is perhaps creating a situation for you to resign on your own? Do you feel that because you are in a vulnerable position, your employer is attempting to take advantage of you? Has your employer unilaterally changed the essential terms of your contract? Have you been demoted? Have your main tasks at your place of employment been changed all of a sudden? Have you been asked to relocate to a significantly further office? If yes, then your employer is most likely attempting to dismiss you but will not fire you as he or she is attempting to avoid paying any notice or severance. At common law, situations described above are referred to as a ‘constructive dismissal’.

It is an implied term of all employment contracts that an employer cannot make changes at his or her own discretion to change an employee’s salary or duties etc. and an attempt to do so would repudiate the employment contract. Where an employer unilaterally changes the pith and substance of an employment contract, the employee can consider the contract to have come to an end and commence an action for a constructive dismissal. The burden of proof is upon the employee to establish the changes were of a fundamental nature and that these changes significantly change the essence of the contract, so ensure you have all your documentation ready to prove that the essential terms of the employment contract have actually changed.

At UL Lawyers Professional Corporation, if you have been constructively dismissed by your employer, we will work for you on a contingency fees basis, which means there are no upfront retainer fees that have to be deposited with us. We will initially pay for all your disbursements and any court costs. Upon settlement or judgment, fees will be calculated on the amount of recovery and not on disbursements or costs recovered in accordance with the Solicitors Act R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER S.15.

If you have are going through a situation described above, then call UL Lawyers now. We have the aggressive team of lawyers that can passionately advocate for you. Call 905 744 8888 or 519 891 8888 (46-7246) now email us at info@ullaw.ca for more information.


DISCRIMINATION AT WORK PLACE ON BASIS OF DISABILITY OR INJURY

Are you of the opinion that your employer is discriminating against you on the basis of your disability? Were you injured and required to have a surgery done and then forced back to work despite your surgeon advising you to take more time off work? You informed your employer well in advance of your medical disability and provided medical documentation and yet your employer has failed to accommodate you? Were you dismissed on the basis of your disability? Is your employer forcing you to do work that he or she is aware that you cannot perform because of your disability and then using that as an excuse to fire you?

If your answers are yes to any of the above, then we highly recommend you contact our office immediately. At UL Lawyers Professional Corporation, if you have been dismissed by your employer on the basis of your disability or injury, we will work for you on a contingency fees basis, which means there are no upfront retainer fees that have to be deposited with us. We will initially pay for all your disbursements and any court costs. Upon settlement or judgment, fees will be calculated on the amount of recovery and not on disbursements or costs recovered in accordance with the Solicitors Act R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER S.15.

We have the aggressive team of lawyers that can passionately advocate for you. Call 905 744 8888 or 519 891 8888 (46-7246) now email us at info@ullaw.ca for more information.


SOLICITED, HIRED AND THEN FIRED

You have a good steady job for several years and one day, out of nowhere, a recruiter or third party reaches out to you, offering you a better job with better pay and you say to yourself, “oh wow! Let’s do this…”

You start the new job and within some time, your new employer decides that they do not like you or do not need you and tell you that you have been dismissed within the probationary period and therefore no notice is owing to you. Well if you did not execute a contract in writing then your employer is wrong! They most likely do owe you notice and it could very much be that you are supposed to be given notice from the time you commenced your job that your new employer solicited you from.

If your answers are yes to any of the above, then we highly recommend you contact our office immediately. At UL Lawyers Professional Corporation, if you have been dismissed after being solicited, then we will work for you on a contingency fees basis, which means there are no upfront retainer fees that have to be deposited with us. We will initially pay for all your disbursements and any court costs. Upon settlement or judgment, fees will be calculated on the amount of recovery and not on disbursements or costs recovered in accordance with the Solicitors Act R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER S.15.

We have the aggressive team of lawyers that can passionately advocate for you. Call 905 744 8888 or 519 891 8888 (46-7246) now email us at info@ullaw.ca for more information.


Have you started a new job and the contract your new employer has provided you with is confusing and you do not understand it? Have you been asked to sign a new contract with your existing employer and you feel hesitant and not sure if you want to sign?

The lawyers at our firm can assist you in such a scenario and give you legal advice, your various options and outcomes of you executing your employment contract.

Please be advised that for independent legal advice (ILA) with respect to any and all employment matters, an hourly fee is applicable. For Employment Independent Legal Advice matters, our firm does not operate on a contingency fees basis.

Please call 905 744 8888 or 519 891 8888 or email us at info@ullaw.ca for our hourly rates and retainer deposit requirements.