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Wrongful termination in Ontario: Facts on getting the axe

Being fired inappropriately has happened to many employees. There are right and wrong ways an Ontario employer can go about letting an employee go, and those who believe they are the victims of wrongful termination have some recourse under the law in Canada. Knowing the facts about being dismissed can be beneficial for those who find themselves victims of the employment axe.

There are certain instances when it's illegal for an employer to fire an employee -- because of a disability, for instance. However, an employee with a disability can be fired for other reasons that have nothing to do with his or her disability such as for conduct that is inappropriate. But firing an employee for exercising his or her rights is against the law.

The Employment Standards Act (ESA) in Canada makes it clear that an employee should be given fair warning prior to being fired. Employees who have been in the same job for 10 years should be notified 10 months prior to being let go. If no notice is given, that same employee should get the equivalent of 10 months' pay. Employers who give a specific reason for the dismissal are off the hook for paying severance. Employers must, however, prove just cause for firing without giving warning.

Employees in Ontario who believe they have been fired unjustly have the right to speak to a lawyer about pursuing compensation. A lawyer will look at the circumstances behind the dismissal. If a lawyer feels there is a case for wrongful termination, he or she will advise a client accordingly. When the court finds an employee has been wrongfully dismissed, he or she may be entitled to an award of monetary damages.



Source:, "Lost your job? What you should know about being dismissed", Accessed on Dec. 8, 2017

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