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Ontario employee rights: Getting sacked at work

Employees never want to be called into the boss's office when things haven't been going so well at work. No one enjoys the moment when one is informed that he or she is fired. Those in Ontario who find themselves in such situations be wondering what their employee rights are. When it comes to getting the ax, an employer doesn't have to give a reason as to why.

What employers do need to do is to give a terminated employee a written notice of termination, meaning they can tell an employee ahead of time the individual will be let go and when, or by letting an employee go immediately and giving him or her the equivalent amount of pay had the worker been told beforehand. It is crucial that an employee knows his or her rights since there are some reasons for which an employee can't be fired, according to the Employment Standards Act (ESA). Some of those reasons include making a Ministry of Labour complaint against an employer, taking pregnancy leave and returning to work afterwards, asking an employer to obey the laws within the ESA or refusing to sign any agreement which is against an employee's rights.

If a person believes he or she is being fired because of reasons that go against his or her human rights, the employer can be taken to task. Some of those reasons include sex, race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity,  marital status or disability. Health or safety issues also come into play. An employer does not have the right to fire someone for asking questions regarding workplace safety issues or for safeguarding the environment.

Knowing the laws regarding employee rights is prudent for Ontario workers. Those who believe they have been fired inappropriately have every right to seek legal counsel. A compassionate personal injury lawyer will listen to his or her client's story and will provide guidance on which steps may be appropriate to take next.


Source:, "I've been fired. Does my employer have to give me a reason?", Accessed on Feb. 2, 2018

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