Your employer can let you go for any number of reasons. They can do so “with cause” for misconduct or “without cause” due to an economic downturn. In the latter case, our law requires that they provide you with adequate notice when they fire you. During the notice period you should continue to receive your full salary and benefits. Your employer can also end your employment right away by offering you equivalent severance pay in lieu of this notice. A wrongful dismissal case is usually about whether the notice period or severance pay was fair for your circumstances. It must sufficiently cover your income loss for a reasonable amount of time until you find another job. This is a bridge, constituted by law, to allow you to manage your finances between jobs.
All provinces in Canada recognize how tough a sudden loss of income can be on individuals and families. Across the country, federal and provincial laws generally favour employees in this matter. That is why your employer must step into this situation carefully. When they make the decision to fire you, they must also make every effort to ease your financial burden.
There are two levels of protection. The Employment Standards Act 2000 covers employees in Ontario. They set out the minimum standards for notice or pay in lieu. In addition, if your employer let you go “without cause” then the calculation of your notice or severance can be much higher. The majority of wrongful dismissal cases we handle involve exactly this determination.
I recently used this law firm for my wrongful dismissal case and severence case. They won my case and got me my severence. I will recommend this law firm.Jennifer Pierce
Over the past 30 years, our team of lawyers have successfully contested thousands of wrongful dismissal cases. This wealth of experience allows us to assess the circumstances of your termination to determine if your severance is fair. We look at four basic issues: Your age, your position, length of service and how long it will take you to find another job. If you are close to retirement and at a senior point in your career, chances are you will find some challenges to land an equivalent job any time soon. And in this case, your severance should be much higher than the minimum set out in the ESA 2000.
In addition to your salary, we review your entire compensation package when estimating these calculations. This includes your health benefits, bonuses, automobile allowances etc.
Furthermore, some egregious circumstances could qualify you for additional lump sum “moral damages”. We draw a clear line in the sand for battling your employer if you were fired after announcing your pregnancy or shortly after returning from sick leave. Similarly, we would seek higher damages for you if you were harassed, bullied and treated poorly prior to your firing; for example, if you were frog-marched out of the door. Ontario courts frown at bad faith dismissals like these.
The most noteworthy part of our experience in wrongful dismissal cases lays in some other “intangibles” we can negotiate for you. Many employers are reluctant to provide a reference letter. If you have been out of the job market for a long time, a career coach can be a most useful ally through your job search and on-boarding process. Such outplacement services can be expensive and we can secure extra funds to cover these costs.
Precarious employment is on the rise and it is changing our society in many ways. Almost 44% of adults in GTA face uncertainty with their employment. It is not unusual for individuals to work at multiple temporary, part time and freelance jobs to make ends meet.
Early in 2016, our lawyers won a precedent setting case that helped clear up the difference between the status of employees and contractors. This was an important decision. It has given rise to numerous wrongful dismissal lawsuits by individuals who were hired as contractors and then dismissed without severance. We helped clarify the fact that “dependent” contractors have the same rights as employees.
When you understand your rights, you gain the power to level the playing field with your employer. Lecker & Associates is one of few employment lawyers in Toronto who exclusively represent employees. In the event of a wrongful dismissal, we have the experience, knowledge and ability to ensure you end up with the best possible severance package reflective of your circumstances. Call us for a review of your case.
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