Termination for Cause & Wrongful Dismissal

Have you been let go “without cause?”

Wrongful dismissal is when the employer lets a person go without cause and refuses to provide notice or termination pay. This is against the law. 

However, as long as the employer gives notice or termination pay, they can let a person go for any reason or no reason as long as it’s not discriminatory.

If you have been offered a severance package, don’t sign until you’ve had the offer reviewed by a lawyer. Click here to learn what you need to know.

Bear in mind that The Ministry of Labour can only enforce the minimum an employer must provide. The common law on the other hand, with the help of our lawyers, can potentially award you many months of severance pay vs. a few weeks.

 

Have you been let go “with cause?”

“With cause” is when you’ve been let go and your employer doesn’t give you notice or termination pay. 

You can fight this and claim “wrongful dismissal”.

Thankfully, the odds of fighting it and winning are very much in your favour. Even if you’ve stepped out of line, most employers lose. It’s very, very hard for employers to prove ‘just cause’ and not pay you any termination pay or severance.

Also, if the employer is shown to have acted in bad faith to avoid paying termination pay, you can sue them and be awarded “aggravated damages” to compensate you in addition to your severance pay.

FAQS

A reasonable severance package in Canada varies substantially based on the circumstances of the employee. While there are many factors which can contribute to the calculation of a reasonable package, there are common factors which are typically considered, known as the Bardal factors.

Employees can try to negotiate alone, but almost always, a lawyer can get them more. Seeking the advice of an experienced employment lawyer helps a dismissed employee understand whether the severance package they are offered is reasonable in comparison with what a judge will likely give them.

An employment lawyer is likely in the best position to assess the appropriate severance package of an employee who has been let go. A good lawyer will know how and when to negotiate, and when to initiate a Statement of Claim to get defendants to pay you through settlement or a court order.

Yes – having your employment terminated by your employer is the same as being fired or let go. A termination of employment is either with or without cause, which affects whether or not you are entitled to termination pay. Sometimes employers try to claim that a termination is for cause when it is not. Wrongful dismissal is when an employee is told they are in fact fired or dismissed.

As an employee, if your employment is terminated without cause – that is, through no fault of your own, you are entitled to termination pay, or common law reasonable notice or pay in lieu. If you are an employee and have been terminated, contact an experienced employment lawyer to help assess your case.

In Ontario, employers are able to dismiss an employee without reason – as long as the reason is not related to Human Rights. Employers have to provide the appropriate amount of notice or termination pay to the dismissed employee. The appropriate amount of notice will largely depend on the employment agreement if applicable, and if not, on common law reasonable notice.