Toronto Employment Lawyers Advising Employers on Unjust Dismissal Claims
Terminations should be carefully carried out and should always be undertaken with the help of a knowledgeable employment lawyer. Firing an employee without proper guidance and thorough advice can result in an unjust dismissal claim and significant legal and financial liability.
If you are a federally-regulated employer considering terminating an employee, contact the Toronto employment lawyers at Sultan Lawyers. We regularly advise Crown corporations, banks, airlines, railway companies, broadcasters, telecommunications companies and other employers subject to the Canada Labour Code about their obligations during the termination process. With our help, you can ensure you are in compliance with the law, minimizing your risk, and protecting yourself and your organization from potential legal disputes stemming from a termination. We know how to approach cases in federal courts and before administrative tribunals and use this experience to our clients’ benefit daily.
Employer Obligations During Termination
The Canada Labour Code provides legal protection to employees in federally regulated workplaces and outlines various obligations an employer must comply with during a termination. The Code outlines procedures to follow when terminating individual employees, or when terminating 50 or more employees in a group termination.
Individual Termination: Termination Pay
A federally regulated employer must provide a terminated employee with either:
- Two weeks’ written notice; or
- Pay in lieu of that notice (i.e. two weeks’ pay instead of two weeks’ notice).
Group Terminations: Termination Pay
If an employer must terminate 50 or more employees simultaneously from a single industrial establishment within a four-week period, the employer must notify the federal Minister of Labour, in writing, at least 16 weeks before the start of the terminations.
In addition to providing notice to the Minister, employers must give notice to each individual being fired (or pay in lieu of that notice). Most employers planning a group termination must establish a committee of employer and employee representatives to create an adjustment program immediately after notice is provided to the affected employees.
A federally regulated employee is entitled to severance pay, in addition to termination pay or notice of termination, where they have completed at least 12 consecutive months of continuous employment prior to their dismissal.
Severance pay consists of two days’ regular wages for each full year the employee worked for the employer up to a maximum of five days’ wages.
Unjust Dismissal Complaints
Federally regulated employees (other than managers) who have completed at least 12 months of continuous employment and who are not subject to a collective agreement, can file an unjust dismissal complaint or request a written statement from the employer for reasons for the dismissal.
Where a complaint is filed an inspector will attempt to assist the parties in reaching a settlement, which may include a monetary payment, changes to the terminated employee’s employment record, or full reinstatement (with or without compensation).
Where the inspector is not successful, the terminated employee can request that the complaint be referred to an adjudicator, and there may be an adjudication hearing.
Adjudicators have the power to order a broad range of remedies where unjust dismissal is found:
- Reinstate the employee with or without compensation for lost wages;
- Pay compensation for any lost wages, without reinstating the employee; or
- Do anything that is considered equitable in order to remedy any consequences arising from the dismissal (this can include ordering an employer to pay the terminated employee’s legal fees, clear an employee’s record, and similar).
In addition to filing an unjust dismissal complaint, a terminated employee can also file a civil action and sue their employer. A separate civil action can then proceed while the unjust dismissal complaint is being investigated or resolved.
Sultan Lawyers: Providing Guidance and Advice on Termination to Federally Regulated Employers
At Sultan Lawyers in Toronto, our forward-thinking and strategic employment lawyers regularly advise federally regulated employers across the province on best practices in carrying out a termination. We help clients ensure that they meet their legal obligations when firing an employee and help them manage potential risks. Where a termination results in a claim of unjust dismissal or a civil lawsuit, we will represent clients throughout the litigation and dispute resolution process and fight for their rights. Contact us online or at 416-214-5111 for a consultation.