I’ve been fired. Should I Speak with an Employment Lawyer?

I’ve been fired. Should I Speak with an Employment Lawyer?

When an employee gets fired, an employer in Ontario has specific duties outlined in the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA“), much like employers in other provinces with similar laws.
Depending on the situation, the terminated employee might receive an offer for a settlement or severance package in line with the ESA. It is crucial to understand that the ESA sets the minimum standards for employers. Under common law, a terminated employee might be entitled to a more substantial settlement or compensation.

The amount of compensation for a terminated employee varies based on the circumstances of the termination. Thus, it is advisable for terminated employees to seek advice from an employment lawyer to gain a better understanding of their specific situation, potential claims, and their strengths.

When an employee is let go, the employer might provide a reason for the decision. Based on this reason and the facts available, the termination falls into one or more categories:

A terminated employee can file a claim for any of these, except when terminated with just cause. If an employee is terminated with just cause, they are not entitled to a notice period.

Just cause can include various reasons such as:

Contrary to common belief, employers are not legally obligated to disclose the reasons for termination unless they face a wrongful dismissal lawsuit, and they have to prove just cause.

While the experience of termination may be unpleasant to revisit, it is nonetheless important to seek legal advice in such instances.

Understanding Your Rights After Termination

  • A written notice period prior to termination
  • Pay in lieu of a notice period
  • A combination of a written notice period and pay in lieu
  • Severance pay

ESA entitlements are minimum standards. Terminated employees may be offered and pressured to accept these minimums by their employers. In the absence of legal advice, an employee that accepts an offer may be foregoing a greater entitlement under the common law.

Whether an employee receives the minimum ESA entitlement or a greater amount under the common law will depend on the following employment factors:

  • The nature and character of the employment
  • The length of employment
  • The age of the employee at termination
  • The likelihood of finding similar employment

Assessing an employee’s common law entitlement requires knowledge of how similar cases have been treated and decided upon in court. An employment lawyer’s knowledge and experience with case law is an important resource that can be used to discern the merits of a wrongful dismissal claim.
Getting fired is a common thing at work, but not everyone has been through it before. Usually, employers know more about terminations than their employees. So, someone who has not been through it might feel pushed to accept a termination deal that meets the minimum ESA standards but is less than what common law allows.

It is a good idea for an employee in this situation to get legal advice or talk to an employment lawyer first. That is the smart move before trying to claim termination benefits. After a consultation with a lawyer, the fired employee can figure out what claims they can make and how strong those claims are.

Contact Achkar Law

If you  have been terminated and want to ensure you are getting the compensation you deserve, take the first step today. Contact Achkar Law for a confidential consultation with an experienced employment lawyer. Our team is here to guide you through the process, assess your situation, and help you understand your rights. Do not navigate the complexities of termination alone – reach out to Achkar Law to secure the professional support you need for a fair resolution. Your future is important, and we are here to protect your rights.

Toll-free: 1 (800) 771-7882
Email: [email protected]

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